Digital caller identification, or digital caller ID, is a feature of most digital phone services and allows a person to see information about callers. In many cases, caller ID comes as a standard part of telephone service. The information provided by this service is displayed on the phone, allowing users to decide whether or not to answer a call based on the number or name that is calling. Separate machines can also be connected to existing telephones that do not come with digital caller ID.
There are two types of caller ID, digital and analog. An analog system translates pulses of electrical energy into information while a digital system translates this information from binary code. Most modern telephones are digital and will usually be paired with a digital caller ID service. These systems will read a pattern of ones and zeros and translate them into numbers and letters that can be understood by users.
When a person calls a telephone equipped with digital caller ID, information embedded in the call is picked up by the caller ID. The most common piece of information gathered by caller ID is the phone number that a person is calling from. In some cases, that phone number may be connected to a name or an address. When this additional information is available, digital caller ID may display it as well.
The person receiving the call can see the information collected by digital caller ID in a number of different places. The most common display location is on the phone itself, whether it is a cellular phone or a digital landline. People with digital combination packages that include phone cable and Internet services may be able to access caller ID from the computer or the television screen. This allows people to see who is calling without being disturbed from other activities. There are also digital caller ID devices that can be attached to the phone line and set up in a location that allows a user easy access to the caller ID information.
Though there have been a number of improvements in digital caller ID technology, there are still some problems with this technology. For one thing, people may choose to make their phone numbers private so that their information is not displayed on another person's caller ID. There are also ways to make a fake number show up on a person's caller ID, making the service somewhat unreliable.