What is Transmission Media?

3 minute read
what is transmission media

In this digital age, can you imagine a world without the constant flow of information, no instant messages, no streaming videos, no work emails or even reading this blog? Well, all the answer lies in a hidden and invisible network that is happening through a bridge. They are called transmission Media. In this transmission medium instead of letters, it carries information in the form of electrical or electromagnetic signals, the path they take can be anything from copper wires to radio waves. In this blog, we will get to answer what is transmission media and know its types too. Let’s explore – 

Define Transmission Media

In simple terms, they are the roads of the digital world, they are the bridges that carry the cargo of information from point A to point B. Just like we move in a car on the roads, the information also needs a roadmap to travel and reach a destination. It is a channel through which information is transmitted from the Sender to the Receiver.

The main function of these media is to carry the information in the form of bits through the pathway of the Local Area Network (LAN). They can be in any form be it “Wired” like the copper cables and fibre optic strands that are extended through buildings and under the oceans or “Wireless” like the radio waves and microwaves. Each of these transmission media has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation in which they are used.

Also Read – Media Convergence Meaning, Types, Examples, Benefits

What are the Types of Transmission Media?

It can be divided into two main categories and further into subcategories. The two main categories are  –  Guided Media and Unguided Media.

Image Source – Network Kings

Guided Media or Wired Media

These media are bounded media or are also referred to as Wired Media. The signals are transmitted through a physical medium. Some of them are – 

  1. Copper Cables – These are metal wires and are ideal for short-distance connections like home networks and telephone lines. The information is carried in the form of electrical signals. However, they can have the disadvantage of signal interference and have moderate transmission speed.
  2. Fiber Optic Cables – These are thin glass strands and are called the future of the information age. They transfer information in the form of a light pulse and have a very high speed, travel long distances and are resistant to interference. 

Unguided or Wireless Media

These media are open and have air as the medium. They use electromagnetic waves to transmit the data and have no physical medium. That’s why they are called Wireless Media.

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  1. Radio waves –   These are electromagnetic invisible waves and range from AM radio to WiFi. They can travel long distances without the need for physical wires. It makes them ideal where cables cannot reach like connecting mobile devices or providing internet connection in the remote areas. However, these waves can also be interfered with or may have limitations of speed and range.
  1. Microwaves – These frequency waves can offer even greater speed and range than radio waves. They may be used for satellite communications or terrestrial communication. These waves are long-distance wireless signals and can be even used as radar systems. However, microwave signals can be blocked by physical obstacles and require specialized equipment.

Also Read – Modes of Communication: Types, Meaning and Examples

The transmission media also is dependent on several factors like- Distance, Speed, Cost and Security. Thus, in conclusion, these transmission media are the reason that the information reaches you on time. They are the physical or wireless communication behind you watching those funny videos or browsing the internet.

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