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Analog versus Digital

-- Analog signals are continuous waves that can represent an unlimited number of values. Telephone systems use analog-switched lines to provide voice communications. Data communication over analog lines has limited transmission speed because of the narrow bandwidth of voice lines.

 

When transmitting data over phone lines, a modem is required to convert the digital data signals to analog signals. When analog signals are transmitted over long distances, they need to be amplified, which can distort the value of the data transmitted.

When analog data is converted to digital data it can be transmitted over digital signals faster and without distortion. Discreet samples of binary data make up the content of the payload. Digital data is precise, but can never transmit the range of information available with analog.

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