Comparing WebRTC and VoIP

With both these fields performing somewhat similar functions, it is possible to get confused as to which one should be used for which application. Luckily, the similarities and differences between WebRTC and VoIP are easy to understand. Let us first define them and then see what are their similarities as well as differences between them.

What is VoIP?

It is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is the transmission of voice and other multimedia through the Internet, enterprise local area networks, or wide area networks, using a suite of technologies and methodologies.

VoIP is cloud-based, so audio is transmitted as digital data. This removes the need for cables as any device with access to the internet can make use of VoIP.

What is WebRTC?

Web Real-Time Communication is a technology that allows audio, video, and other media to be captured and streamed between web browsers without the need for an intermediary or any third party software.

WebRTC consists of several APIs and protocols that work together to achieve peer-to-peer data sharing and teleconferencing.

Similarities between WebRTC and VoIP

  • WebRTC and VoIP were both developed to achieve faster and more cost-effective ways for people to connect with each other using the Internet and existing infrastructure.
  • They allow people to communicate with each other using any device as long as it has access to the Internet.
  • WebRTC and VoIP are flexible enough to work with a wide range of devices ranging from smartphones to supercomputers.

Differences between WebRTC and VoIP

The underlying technology is the main difference between WebRTC and VoIP.

  • VoIP is an Internet-based communication protocol. Voice over DSL/Cable modem, Voice over Wi-Fi/3G (VoWiFi/3G), Voice over LTE (VoLTE), and Rich Communication Suite (RCS) are some of its variations.
  • WebRTC, on the other hand, is completely browser-based and requires the use of two main component JavaScript APIs.
  • WebRTC is an extension of VoIP and takes advantage of the existing VoIP infrastructure.
  • VoIP requires the use of additional plugins to work while WebRTC only needs a compatible browser.
  • VoIP can serve embedded operator-driven VoLTE application while WebRTC is ideal for low-cost browser-based contact center applications.


VoIP and WebRTC are both driven by the same idea- to facilitate cheaper and easier communication regardless of location or device as long as an Internet connection is available.

The way in which it is implemented is where the difference lies. VoIP provides cheaper and more reliable Internet telephony while WebRTC provides browser-based peer-to-peer communication for file sharing, voice chat, and video calls without the need for plugins.