Wondering what a two-way radio is? Want to know some of the advantages that this type of radio has over your standard cellphone? Read on!

Two Way Radio Defined

A two-way radio is a radio that can both send and receive radio signals. This means that you are able to listen to people who are sending messages over the frequencies that your two-way radio is tuned to, and you can send your own messages back to them. Two-way radios can either be handheld, or they can be hardwired units. For example; you could have a two-way radio seated in your home or even in your car. Basically, anything that works with radio signals and can both send and receive them will be regarded as a two-way radio.

Two-way radios can be either digital or analog, with many of the units on the market nowadays (particularly the higher quality ones) falling into the latter category. Of course, you don’t just need to think about the way the signal is processed. You also need to think if you need the best range for a two way radio and how it functions.

What is Better, a Digital Or Analog Radio?

If you want something cheap, yet offers the superior sound quality, then you absolutely need to go down the route of analog. They are dead simple to use too, with very few analog two-way radios boasting a plethora of useless features.

On the other hand, if you want the ability to have multiple conversations going at once, or even the ability to send data and the like over radio waves, then a digital radio is probably going to be the best route to go down. However, do bear in mind that these radios can get pretty costly, even at the lower end of the market!

How Do Two-Way Radios Work?

Two-way radios work on radio signals.

When you have a two-way radio, you will be able to tune it into different radio frequencies. There’s no need to memorize the two-way radio frequency table. Most often the handset will be preprogrammed with a channels you can select. Under the hood, these channels map to the specific two-way frequencies. If you have a walkie talkie or another cheaper two-way radio, then it is likely that there will not be any channels to choose from. You will only be able to communicate with the other walkie talkies in the ‘set’. They are not designed for use beyond that.

When a two-way radio is tuned into a specific frequency, it looks for radio signals that are operating on that frequency. If successful, it takes in the signal, processes it and then plays it through the speaker on the radio. If you are sending out a signal, it will do this process in reverse.

Since two-way radios are often designed to be ‘easy to operate’, you do not need to worry that much about how they work. Just read the manual, press a couple of buttons, and it won’t be long before you get the hang of it.

Benefits of a Handheld Two Way Radio Over Cell Phones

Now, you may be thinking “why do I need a two-way radio? I have a cellphone!”. Well, there are plenty of things that a two-way radio can do that your average cell phone wouldn’t be able to accomplish.

Cell Phone Limitations

Let’s say you are in the middle of nowhere. No phone tower in sight, and no signal on your phone. How do you get in touch with somebody? Exactly! You can’t. If there is no phone signal or an awful phone signal, then you aren’t calling another phone. Enter your two-way radio. It is always going to be able to connect to the other radios in the near vicinity (assuming they are on the same frequency). It doesn’t rely on cell phone towers or anything. It relies on just the radio waves that it pumps out and receives.

Not only this, but your two-way radio is going to provide you with an instant connection. There is nothing to dial. You just flick on the radio and you can communicate with others. You don’t have to wait for anybody to pick up, just speak, and, assuming their radio is turned on and switched to the right frequency, then they will be able to hear it right away!

Don’t forget; multiple people can be tuned into the radio signal at once too. So, this means that you do not have to make several phone calls to ensure that everybody in your party gets the message. Just say it into your two-way radio, and assuming everybody is doing the sensible thing and kept their radio on, they will be able to hear you. For the most part, there is no real limit to the number of people who can receive your broadcasts either. Although, there will be limits on the number of people who can talk at once (i.e. 1)

Finally, the batteries on two-way radios tend to last a little bit longer than your conventional cellphone. A good radio will give you days of battery (assuming it is not being used that much). A cellphone? Well, if you are making calls with it, you are going to be getting a couple of hours out of it at the absolute most!

Top Tips for Finding a Two-Way Radio

There are a lot of great two-way radio options on the market. We suggest that you do not jump in blind. Think a little bit about the features that you want on the radio. For example; do you need the ability to be able to sync up multiple units? How far do you want the range to be? What sort of money are you looking to spend on the radio? Of course, you also need to make sure that you read through any reviews before you make your purchase. The two-way radio market has exploded in recent years, so there are a lot of shoddy offerings available. Thankfully, diving into a few two-way radio reviews will put you on the path towards finding something that is perfect!