Transmission Media in Computer Networks

Computer networking is the term for a network of connected computers that may communicate and share resources. These networked devices transmit data through wireless or physical technologies using a set of guidelines known as communications protocols.
In this article,we will be discussing about a transmission medium, or channel through which data is conveyed from one location to another, is a physical path between the transmitter and the receiver in the context of data communication.

What is Transmission Media

A communication channel known as "transmission media" is used to send information from a source or transmitter to a receiver. It is a physical way for electromagnetic signals to transport data. With LAN, information is transmitted in the form of bits. It can mediate the transmission of telecommunications signals.

Types of Transmission Media include:

There are two types of the transmission medium

  • The Guided Media.
  • The Unguided Media.

1. The Guided Media

Wired media is another name for guided transmission media. Because it is constrained within the communication network to a specified limit, it is also sometimes referred to as bounded media. Guided transmission media use physiologically related connections to implement the control and focus of the transmission signal qualities in a fixed, constrained channel. The quick transmission velocity of guided transmission media is one of its most noticeable features. Transmission security and the capacity to control the network within a constrained geographic area are two additional factors that influence users’ decisions to favor directed media over unguided media.

Features of Guided Transmission Media are:
Below are the features of guided transmission media:

  1. Fast and Secure
  2. used while traveling very short distances

Based on the kind of connecting material utilised to build the network, many guided transmission media kinds include:

Cable Twisted Pair:
Twisting two distinct protected cables around each other to form a single wire is how twisted pair cables are made. Insulated materials are frequently used to construct shields, allowing each cable to transmit on its own. The protective coating is then applied to this twisted wire to make it easier to use. Twisted pair cables often come in two varieties:

Fiber Optic Cable:
These tiny glass strands, also known as fibre optic cable, are used to direct light along their length. They are frequently utilised for long-distance communications and incorporate numerous optical fibres. These cables can transmit enormous volumes of data over long distances without the need for signal repeaters, in contrast to other materials. Less maintenance is required, which lowers costs and increases the dependability of the communication system. Both unidirectional and bidirectional types of these are possible.

Stripline with Shielded Twisted Pairs (STP):
This is a multi-layer printed circuit board with transverse electromagnetic (TEM) transmission media built on the inner layers. When high- or low-level RF signals need to be isolated from nearby circuitry, they are utilised. Printed circuit transmission lines of this kind sandwich a signal trace between the upper and lower ground planes. Stripline reduces emissions because homogenous dielectric totally encloses electromagnetic radiation. In addition to reducing emissions, it also provides protection against incoming spurious signals.

Although microstriplines are similar to striplines and are present above the ground plane, they are not sandwiched. They can be produced using any technology in which a subtrated dielectric layer separates the conductor from the ground plane. Microwave frequency signals are converted using these transmission methods. Moreover, microstrip is employed in the construction of microwave couplers, filters, power dividers, antennas, etc. It is less expensive than the conventional waveguide technique.

2.The Unguided Media:

They assist in delivering electromagnetic signals without utilising a physical medium and are also referred to as unbounded or wireless media. The medium used here is air. Transmitter and receiver are not physically connected. Although they are used across greater distances, these transmission media are less secure than directed media. The three primary categories of wireless transmission media are Microwaves, Infrared, and Radio Waves.

The alignment of the transmitter and reception antennas is crucial for these waves. It is called line-of-sight transmission for this reason. They are therefore appropriate for shorter distances. They are made up of electromagnetic waves with frequencies between one and four gigahertz (GHz). The bandwidth offered by microwaves is in the region of 1 to 10 Mbps. The signal’s range is inversely proportional to the antenna’s height. The tower’s height needs to be extended to allow for passage across greater distances. They are further divided into satellite- and terrestrial-type microwave transmissions.

Infrared waves:
These waves are only effective for extremely close communication. They cannot pass through obstructions like radio waves can. Their frequency range extends from 300GHz to 400THz. Infrared waves have a relatively fast data rate because of their wider bandwidth. They are more secure and meddle less.

Radio waves:
Across empty space, radio waves are sent in all directions. All antennas can receive the sent waves since they are omnidirectional. When data must be transmitted repeatedly from one transmitter to numerous receivers, these waves are helpful. Large areas can be covered by radio waves, and they can even pass through solid objects like walls and buildings. These waves have a frequency range of 3 kHz to 1 GHz. Its omnidirectional nature means that when another signal with the same bandwidth or frequency is delivered, problems like interference could occur.

In data communication, the transmission medium serves as a physical conduit between the transmitter and the recipient.
Electromagnetic waves are used to transport the signals between the transmitter and receiver.
It is possible for electromagnetic signals to travel across a vacuum, air, or other transmission medium from one transmitter to another receiver.
Different transmission media have different properties, including delay, bandwidth, upkeep, cost, and ease of installation.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ):

1. What kinds of transmission media are there?
Guided and unguided transmission media are the two different types.

2. Name the transmission method that is used in households the most.
These are satellite, fibre optics, microwave, twisted-pair, coaxial cable.

3. What are the twisted pair cables?
Twisted pairs that are both shielded and unprotected

4. What is a transmission medium?
Data is sent from a transmitter to a receiver via a path known as transmission media.

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