Fact Checked

What Is Digital Caller ID?

C.B. Fox
C.B. Fox

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.

Most telephones are equipped with digital caller ID, which displays the name and/or number of the caller.
Most telephones are equipped with digital caller ID, which displays the name and/or number of the caller.

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.

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Discussion Comments


@sunnySkys - Wow! I couldn't imagine just picking up my phone without looking at it. I guess I don't really like to live on the edge!

I think caller ID is really indispensable. I remember when it was specialty feature on home phone lines, like call waiting. You had to pay extra for it! Now it's pretty much standard on all cell phones at least. I think it definitely should be.


Sometimes I forget that caller ID hasn't always existed. However, I think it came out when I was around 10. I remember before that, you would just always pick up the phone without knowing who was on the other line.

I think a lot of older people actually still do this. I know my grandma does! She has caller ID on her home phone, but she always picks up her phone without looking at it. Then she complains about getting calls from telemarketers and the like. I keep telling her if she just checks the caller ID first she can solve a lot of those problems.


It seems like having caller ID became much more important when telemarketers began calling all the time. For me that is when I really wanted to know who was calling me.

The same thinking goes for political calls. At certain times of the year, I may get 3 to 4 political calls in one evening.

I went for a few years before getting the digital caller ID service. Once I began using the service, I would never want to go back to not knowing who was calling me.


I really love having caller ID. It is just nice to know who is on the other end of the phone before you pick it up.

With all of our kids having cell phones, they have grown up with this. If you still have a landline phone, you must have a phone that will show this information.

I have many friends who will not even answer their phone if they don't recognize the number that shows up on their caller ID.

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    • Most telephones are equipped with digital caller ID, which displays the name and/or number of the caller.
      By: Michael Shake
      Most telephones are equipped with digital caller ID, which displays the name and/or number of the caller.