Introduction to Networking

Guided Transmission Media

Guided transmission media connects multiple devices physically through wires. It is also called bounded or physical media. 

Types of Guided Media

There are different types of guided media that are used for communication purposes.

  • Twisted Pair Cable
  • Coaxial Cable
  • Fiber Optic Cable

1. Twisted Pair

  • A twisted pair is a guided media made up of a pair of cables twisted with each other. The twisting of wires protects them from interference by external electromagnetic waves.

  • Increasing the number of turns per foot decreases noise interference.
  • Twisted pairs are two types: one is a Shielded twisted pair (STP), and the other is an unshielded twisted pair (UTP).

  • Unshielded Twisted pairs are available in different categories (1 to 6) and have data transfer speeds of 4MB to 200MB per second.
  • Due to the Mesh around the wire, the STP is expensive, has higher capacity, is safe, and higher data transmission rate than UTP.
  • Twisted pairs are easy to install to transfer data for short distances and are inexpensive.

2. Coaxial Cable

  • It consists of copper wire (conductor) covered by insulating material. Insulated copper wire is covered by copper mesh (shield). The copper mesh protects the internal copper wire from external interference.

  • It is more expensive and provides a higher data transfer rate than twisted cable.

3. Fiber Optic

  • It is used to send the data by pulses of light. Fiber optic contains three main components.
  • Core: A core is a light transmission area that consists of thin strands of glass or plastic. These strands are thin like human air.
  • Cladding: It provides a lower refractive index so that the light waves are transmitted through the fiber.
  • Jacket: cladding is further protected by a plastic coating called a jacket. It absorbs shock and provides extra fiber protection.
  • The Speed, reliability, and security are higher than coaxial cable and not affected by electromagnetic waves. But it is difficult to install and expensive as well as compared to coaxial cable.