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Difference Between SIP and XMPP


SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) are two acronyms that are very common when it comes to online communications. These two protocols are used by software chat clients in order to facilitate the transfer of data from one point to another. The main difference between the two is their intended purpose. SIP was developed to bring the standardized signaling of ordinary phones into packet-based networks. It is responsible for initiating and terminating VoIP calls as well as in utilizing the many new features of VoIP. In comparison, XMPP was created as a protocol for instant messaging. It is used to send messages as well as notify the servers that the use is still present and able to receive messages. There is also a very different approach when it comes to how the messages are sent. SIP uses a text-based format akin to HTTP while XMPP uses XML; hence the “Extensible” in the name.

When it comes to usage, SIP does not require you to access a server. As long as you know the IP address of the other party, you can initiate a VoIP call via SIP. In comparison, XMPP still requires a server to mediate the communication between two parties. What’s good about XMPP is that its open nature allows just about anyone to create their own XMPP server.

XMPP is responsible for communicating with the server as well as transferring messages. This is part of the reason why it can be used to connect to other messaging protocols. On the other hand, SIP is only responsible with the call transactions and another protocol is used for transferring the actual content.

Lastly, because of the way the two are designed, firewalls are less of a problem for XMPP than SIP. Because the XMPP client initiates the connection to the server, the firewall will not block the connection. An incoming SIP call may be blocked by the firewall if it has not been set up to appropriately forward the transaction.


1.SIP is primarily for conducting voice calls while XMPP is primarily for messaging.
2.SIP is text based while XMPP is XML.
3.SIP does not require the use of servers while XMPP does.
4.SIP does not handle the actual data while XMPP does.
5.SIP doesn’t go easily through firewalls while XMPP does.

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