Binary numbers include 1 and 0, which mean on and off, respectively. These numbers are readable by computers. If the computer wants to understand any information, it first converts it into a binary code.
Binary numbers also have many other applications. They can be used for document security. Similarly, binary codes are used in some programming languages as well. With so many applications, there arises a need for converting these numbers into a readable form to understand this code. This is known as decoding.
Decoding is a process in which a binary code is converted into text or into decimal numbers. It can be done in various ways. We are going to discuss these ways in this article. But first, let’s explain binary numbers a little further.
Table of Contents
Understanding Binary Number System
There are a total of four number systems. All of these systems have different sets of numbers that computers use to understand information. Our focus will be the binary number system which only has 2 characters (0 and 1). These 2 numbers are combined in innumerable different combinations.
Since binary code is a computer language, we can not understand it. Fortunately, it can be converted into a text form that we can understand. To understand this conversion process, first, we will have to understand the place value system of binary numbers.
Binary Place Value System
As you already know, the decimal numbers have 10 characters (0-9). This means that they have a base of 10. Similarly, binary numbers have a base of 2.
Binary numbers are given specific place values, which are equal to 2 raised to the power of their position. The right-most number has a position of zero, and that’s why its place value is 2 raised to power 0, which is equal to 1.
The first 5 place values are as follows:
20 = 1
21 = 2
22 = 4
23 = 8
24 = 16
Decoding Binary Numbers
The simplest method of converting or decode binary numbers into text form is to convert them into decimal numbers first. There are many methods of this conversion. We will show you some of them.
1. Manual Conversion
Manually decoding binary code involves calculations. The step-by-step process is given below.
Positional Notation Method
In this method, all the characters of binary code are multiplied by their respective place values. After that, the answers are added up. But before the conversion process, the binary code is broken down into sets of 4 or 8 characters to make the process easier and quicker.
Here is an example of how a 4-character binary number “0110” is converted to decimal:
0 x 20 = 0 x 1 = 0
1 x 21 = 1 x 2 = 2
1 x 22 = 1 x 4 = 4
0 x 23 = 0 x 8 = 0
So, 0110 in decimal numbers is 6.
Now this number can be decoded into text form.
After converting binary code into a decimal numbers system, we can use the ASCII Table to convert it into text form. Some versions of this table can be used to convert binary code directly into text. A typical ASCII table is given in the following image:
As you can see in this table, all decimal numbers have different translations. For instance, the decimal number that we got in the previous example was “6”. According to the above table, this value means ACK (acknowledge). In the same way, if we had gotten any other value, we could have used this same table and converted it into text.
2. Using a Binary Code Translator
The method of decoding binary numbers explained in the previous section is a rather difficult and time-consuming process. An alternate method of binary decoding is to use an online binary code translator.
All you have to do is enter your code into the input section and then click the convert button. The results are shown side by side in the output section as follows:
By clicking on the swap button, we can do the opposite of this as well. It is given in the image below:
So, if you don’t have that much time to spare for decoding binary codes, then you can use such online tools to speed up the process.
Moreover, the manual conversion process is also highly likely to be inaccurate due to human errors. This can also be prevented by using online tools.
Decoding binary numbers can seem like a difficult task at first, but with adequate practice and experience, it becomes easier. The probability of errors and the speed of your conversion improves over time. Still, if you don’t want to put that much effort into decoding binary numbers, then you can use online binary code translators such as the one explained in this article.Image by starline on Freepik