Is There a Difference between Walkie-Talkies and Two-Way Radios?

walkie talkieMany people don’t know the difference between walkie-talkies and two-way radios. Even more don’t know that there’s a difference at all. It’s important to know how the two communication devices differ to determine which radio is the right one to use in certain situations. This is especially true if you plan to purchase several of these devices for communications purposes in an industrial worksite.

The following is a short breakdown of the differences between the two:

Walkie Talkies

The military was the first to use walkie-talkies. It was a popular communication device during World War II. After the war, though, ordinary people and those in the commercial industry started making use of the device. Experts from say that the walkie-talkies back then looked like telephone handset with an antenna at the top and a built-in speaker. Modern walkie-talkies, on the other hand, have a smaller built. Today, you will see that they typically have a rugged exterior look and a short aerial.

Walkie-talkies use push-to-talk technology and the models range from cheap children’s toys to professional, military tools. In general, walkie-talkies are limited to only a few watts of power output. They also have a relatively short signal range. Because of this, a device called the repeater is used to increase range and enhance the signal by blocking unused frequencies.

Two-Way Radio

Two-way radios are portable devices that use push-to-talk technology as well. Unlike the walkie-talkie, however, these devices have a much stronger range. Experts say that some two-way radios feature a “full duplex,” meaning it can send and receive messages at the same time. This is just like the way mobile phones work.

Although there are similarities between two-way and mobile phones, two-way radios don’t need cell towers to operate because they run independently. Two-way radios are the ideal device for your emergency kit because they don’t depend on telephone lines that can overload or fail during bad weather conditions.

Experts say that if you want a device that you can use just for hobbies and recreation, go for walkie-talkies. If you’ll use the radio for emergency and security reasons, choose two-way radios.