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Difference Between Analog and Digital Phones

telephoneAnalog vs. Digital Phones

An analog phone is one which makes use of analog technology. Analog technology is simply the process by which the technology takes an audio or video signal and translates it into electronic pulses (the human voice being transmitted over the phone, for instance). Also known as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), these lines are analog support standard phones, fax machines and modems.

A digital phone is one that uses technology that breaks an audio or video signal (such as your voice or a television) into binary code – essentially, a code comprised of 1s and 0s. Once translated into binary code, the signal gets transferred to the other end of the device into another device (whether be it a phone, modem or television). This receiving device takes the binary code and reassembles it into the original signal (meaning, once received, the other device translates the binary code into the signal from which the code came – a reciprocating action) and sends it back to the other end.

While analog technology ensures that the user is paying substantially less than if he were to use a digital phone, the digital provides a greater level of security when engaged in conversation – that is, the binary code can easily set up an encryption while transmitting to ensure that your conversation is not being followed by outside ears. As digital requires a code translation phase, it can ensure that any information that’s transferred through the phone is accurate – it is capable of correcting any errors that may have occurred during the transmission (meaning that your conversation is much clearer using a digital phone than an analog phone).

Analog telephones give the user a greater sound quality than digital. Because there is a great deal of translation between devices (i.e. your telephone and the receiver’s telephone), much of the sound quality is sacrificed. Also, one is bound to pay a great deal more for phones and other communication devices that are digital. Analog is also rather limited in terms of mobile phone technology. With a cordless device (such as a mobile or home phone), analog is limited in the range that it is able to pick up (of course, that more or less depends on the environment in which one uses the phone). Digital phones allow more users to use their mobile phones within a single area of coverage. More users are capable of sending and receiving data at the same time. Though analog sound quality is still far more superior to digital sound quality over the phone, digital phones are less prone to static and signal fading.


1. Analog phones use technology that translates audio or video signals into electronic pulses; digital phones use technology that translates audio or video signals into binary code.

2. Analog phones have a substantially higher sound quality; digital phones have a slightly clearer sound.

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  1. Can data be extracted from analog phones. Student

  2. Can you explain difference between sound quality and clearer sound? Which technology is better for hard hearing person?

  3. Im a telecomms engineer i have read this comment and found it very useful.

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