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Digital vs. Analog Phone: Which is Right for You?

September 01, 2016
By admin in Digital Phone

Since its invention in 1876, the telephone has been a critical means of communication. Despite this, the landlines of today are not all that different from those used by our grandparents. Until fairly recently, if you wanted a phone, you had to go with an analog POTS (plain old telephone service) line.

The introduction of digital phone service offered an alternative to POTS. Let’s take a closer look at the match-up of digital phone vs. landline.


Analog Landlines

Analog phone services convert voices into electronic signals, which are transmitted along copper wiring to their destination and reconverted back into voices. This ability, without any exaggeration, changed the world. Suddenly long-distance, instantaneous communication was possible. The humble analog phone represented a milestone in human development.

But, cost can be a factor. Long distance fees quickly add up, whether you’re a grandmother whose grand kids are across the country or a small business making multiple calls a day. As you’ll see, when it comes to long distance fees, traditional phone services suffer in the digital vs analog phone comparison.


Digital vs Analog Phone Services

Digital phone services take advantage of the internet to send and receive messages. Voice signals are compressed and the phone service removes unnecessary sound frequencies. The compressed message is then unpacked at the other end of the line. The result is  much better sound quality than analog phones.

By connecting to the Internet, digital phone services essentially remove the “distance” from “long distance.” Long distance calls are much cheaper, with providers like MetroCast  offering unlimited calls to anywhere in the US and Canada.

Digital services also offer more features to users than the average analog line, including:

  • Caller ID
  • Call Waiting
  • Call Forwarding
  • Voice Mail
  • Anonymous Call Rejection
  • Selective Call Rejection
  • Distinctive Ring
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Automatic Recall (*69)
  • Outside Area Alerting
  • Speed Dial
  • Online Account Management: View call history, manage Voicemail options, listen to Voicemail, and more - whether you're at home or away.

Additionally, while adding new features to an analog phone system usually requires adding hardware to the system, changes to a digital system can usually be added with software upgrades.

It’s important to confirm digital phone services are fully compatible with 911, as some areas have taken longer than others to integrate the new technology into emergency services. MetroCast digital lines deliver your number and address directly to 911 dispatchers in case of emergency, while a backup battery option in your MetroCast home modem ensures you can call for emergency assistance even during power outages (see for information about eMTA backup batteries).

Digital vs analog phone? The analog phone changed the communications world, but digital phone is the advanced communication technology of today and the future.