Will a hotel phone line damage my laptop?

Digital telephone systems do have the potential to damage your modem. The problem is that digital lines operate using a higher electrical current than a normal phone line, which can damage the modem's internal circuitry. This is the case for most digital phone systems, whether at hotels or your regular office. To see if a phone line is digital, check the back of the telephone connected to it. If you see "complies with part 68, FCC Rules" and a Ringer Equivalence Number (REN) the line is analog. If not, the line is most likely digital. Other indicators of a digital line are function keys or LCD displays on the phone itself.

For those using digital lines, or traveling with laptops, there are devices available to allow you to connect your modem to a digital line in your office or hotel room. If you are traveling out of the country, you will need a different adapter designed specifically for the phone system in your destination country.

May 1999

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