# What Exactly are Digital and Analog Signals?

While researching networking, i came across the term "Digital Signals" and "Analog Signals". According to the majority of sources ive viewed online, people are saying that an analog signal is a continuous flow of data, and that a digital signal is segments of data, or somthing of the like, but thats pretty dificult to visualize or put into perspective. Can anyone help me to understand what exactly a digital and analog signal is concretely?

• A digital signal could be something as simple as looking at the voltage, and if it is `0` the value is `0`, but if it is `+5` the value is `1`. You then have discreet binary values. An analog signal value could be any value of the voltage, so you could have a value of `2.5` or `10.33` or any other value. Dec 23, 2021 at 20:30
• Thanks, that puts it into perspective pretty well! Some people say that every signal is technically an analog signal (like voltage, in your example), but its how we interpret it that determines weather its a digital signal. Would you say thats somewhat true? @RonMaupin Dec 23, 2021 at 20:34
• Well, they say that because the voltage takes time to ramp up from `0` to `+5`, but it is meaningless except what the voltage is at a particular time. The voltage is analog at any given time period, but it is either above or below the threshold at a meaningful time. For example a 1 Mbps signal is only meaningful every one millionth of a second, but meaningless between those periods as it is changing. Dec 23, 2021 at 20:39
• An analog signal is continuous, but digital is measured at specific times. Dec 23, 2021 at 20:41
• Ohhhhh ok i get it, that makes perfect sense. Thanks a ton! @RonMaupin Dec 23, 2021 at 20:41

Briefly,

An analog signal uses a continuous range of values to represent information.

A digital signal uses discrete values (0 and 1) to represent information.

You can read more at https://www.guru99.com/analog-vs-digital.html

• Alright, I can settle with that. One last thing, do you have any comment on why data on the internet is transported in analog signals, and computers use digital signals? Dec 23, 2021 at 20:28
• "data on the internet is transported in analog signals No, it is not. Dec 23, 2021 at 20:31
• That's not exactly true. The "data" on the Internet, being a product of digital computers, is digital. Dec 23, 2021 at 20:32
• Sorry, but what do you mean by that exactly? Its a tad confusing. Dec 23, 2021 at 20:37
• @KeylimePi You could argue that if you look very closely, everything's analog. But it really depends on how you interpret signals, and in today's technology there's very little analog left.
– Zac67
Dec 23, 2021 at 20:50