Transmission Mediums in Computer Networks




Communication mediums are the means through which information is transmitted from one device to another. The information is sent in the form of signals which are channeled to the different computers and other communication devices.




The data travels by various means from the source to the destination and uses electromagnetic energy during the transmission. Air and vacuum are some of the forms where the electromagnetic signals travel through as to reach the end user. An energy of the kind can be concerning magnetic or electrical fields. They include visible light, radio waves, power, voice gamma rays, and ultraviolet radiation.

The transmission mediums can be through a cabling or wireless system. The bounded or guided media is a communication channel where the signals are confined to follow a particular channel to reach the destination.

 It is usually through physical means, and the connection can be made by use of a twisted pair cable, fiber-optic cable or a coaxial cable. The unbounded or unguided media utilizes a wireless form of transmitting data and therefore does not use any physical connectors. Some of the unguided media include the microwaves, Infrared waves, and radio waves. These media involves the transmission of data across the atmosphere provided that the receiver can interpret the information and provide feedback.

Some factors should be considered when selecting the transmission medium. Transfer rate concerns the speed in which the data travels across the communication channel from the source to the destination.

They are always determined by their frequencies as some may have a higher rate of transmission compared to other media. It is also important to consider the cost and the process of installation. The guided or bounded transmission media connects two devices at the actual length of the cable. It is affordable and can be installed quickly. However, the efficiency of the medium should be weighted since it also contributes to how fast the data travels across the communication channel.

It is also important to consider the resistance to environmental conditions. The radio waves or transmission media that travel above air can be obstructed by weather such as a change in the direction of the wind. The data being channeled across the medium can be hindered from reaching the destination successfully.

The distance between the two devices of communication is also an essential element to be considered when choosing transmission mediums. Devices which are at a shorter distance can use the bounded medium of transmission to reduce the costs and ease of installation.




 In situations that involve a longer distance, the unguided or wireless medium is appropriate. The reason is that the signals can be sent and received by use of satellite dishes or other devices that can pick up the data, interpret the information and provide feedback.