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Types of Transmission Media and Their Brief Description

Transmission Media : Objective-

  • Explain types of Transmission media
  • Understand and explain Coaxial cables, twisted pair Cables, Fiber optic cables.

Networking Transmission Media :

Network transmission media is the actual path over with an electrical signal goes as it moves starting with one part then onto the next.

There are two types of transmission media used in networking-

  1. Wired (Cables) / Guided
  2. Wireless (Air) / Unguided

In this post we will cover, the wired / guided part of transmission media. There are three types of transmission media,

  1. Coaxial cables
  2. Twisted pair cables
  3. Fiber optic cables

Coaxial cables:

Types of Transmission Media and Their Brief Description

A Coaxial cable is a cable, is used in the transmission of audios, videos and communications. Mainly coaxial cables are used as network and broadband cable. These cables have high bandwidth and greater transmission capacity. The adjacent figure is of a commonly used coaxial cable. As shown in the figure these cables have a metal male connector end that is screwed onto a female connector.

The Coaxial cables are two types-

  1. Thicknet ( 10Base5)
  2. Thinnet (10Base2)
Types of Transmission Media
Types of Transmission Media

*Thicknet, also known as Thick Ethernet or 10Base5

*Thinnet, also known as Thin Ethernet or 10Base2

Above mentioned both technologies use coax that consists of solid copper core surrounded by an insulator. 10Base2 is known as cheaper net, thin Ethernet, thinnet and thinwire which is a variant of Ethernet that uses thin Coaxial cable, terminated with BNC connectors. Here 10Base2 means

  • 10 Mbps speed.
  • Baseband signals
  • 200 meters length (actual usage is 185 meters)

And, 10Base5 is known as Thick Ethernet or thicknet that was the first commercially available variant of Ethernet. Here 10Base5 means,

Twisted Pair Cables:

Twisted pair cable is a very important network media. It can be used for phones communication and cable Ethernet networks. Twisted pair cabling is a type of wiring in which two conductors of a single circuit are twisted together for the purpose of cancelling out electromagnetic interference (EMI) from external sources. There are two kinds of twisted pair cable, UTP and STP.

Types of Transmission Media and Their Brief Description

UTP:

Types of Transmission Media and Their Brief Description

UTP means Unshielded Twisted Pair, which is the copper media and inherited from telephony, which can be used for increasingly higher data rates, and is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for horizontal wiring, the connection between, and including, the outlet and the termination is the communication closet.

Advantages/ Disadvantages of UTP: 

  • They are very flexible, low codt media, and can be used for either voice or data communications.
  • The main disadvantage with UTP is the bandwidth. We cannot achieve high bandwidth with UTP cables.

STP:

Types of Transmission Media and Their Brief Description

STP cable is Shielded Twisted Pair copper conductive netting or casing, performed with individually or with external conductive shield around all pairs. It is heavier and more difficult to manufacture, but it can extraordinarily enhance the signalling rate in a given transmission plot. Twisting gives cancelation of magnetically induced fields and currents on a pair of conductors.

Advantages/Disadvantages of STP cable:

  • The main advantage of STP is that it ensures greater protection from all types of external interference that Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable.
  • The disadvantage is , it is more expensive than UTP cable.

Types of UTP Cables:

UTP CategoryData RateMax. LengthApplication
CAT1Up to 1 Mbps    –Old Telephone Cables
CAT2Up to 4 MbpsToken Ring Network
CAT3Up to 10 Mbps100mToken Ring and 10BaseT Ethernet
CAT4Up to 16 Mbps100mToken Ring Network
CAT5Up to 100 Mbps100mToken Ring, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet
CAT5eUp to 1 Gbps100mEthernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
CAT6Up to 10 Gbps100mGigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethertnet
CAT6aUp to 10 Gbps100mGigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethernet
CAT7Up to 10 Gbps100mGigabit Ethernet, 10G Ethernet
CAT8Up to 40 Gbps30m40G Ethernet

Fiber Optic Cables:

Types of Transmission Media and Their Brief Description

Fiber optic cable is a fast information transmission medium. Fiber optic cables carry communication signals using pulses of light generated by small lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

It contains minor glass or plastic fibers, which carry light beams and the coating helps preserve the fibers from heat, cold, electromagnetic delay from distinct types of wiring, as readily as some protection from ultraviolet rays from the sun. Fiber optics manages for an essentia;lly faster data transmission than standard copper wires. And the fiber optic cables bandwidth is much higher than other cables.

Advantages of Fiber Optic cable:

  • Fiber cables offer several advantages over traditional long-distance copper cabling.
  • Fiber optics have a higher capacity. The amount of network bandwidth a fiber cable can carry easily exceeds that of a copper cable with similar thickness. Fiber cables rated at 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and even 100 Gbps are standard. Since light can travel much longer distances down a fiber cable without losing its strength, it lessens the need for signal boosters.
  • Fiber is less susceptible to interference. A traditional network cab;le requires special shielding (like in STP) to protect it from electromagnetic interference. While this shielding helps, it is not sufficient to prevent interference when many cables are strung together in close proximity to each other. The physical properties of glass and fiber cables avoid most of these issues.

There are two types of Fiber optic cables, They are:

  1. Single mode fiber optic cable
  2. Multi-mode Fiber optic cable

Read more :

Difference between Single mode and Multi-mode
Difference Between Fiber optic, Twisted pair, Coaxial Cable

Summary: 

  • The electrical signal goes through network media and there are three types of network media to be specific. * Coaxial cables, Twisted pair cables and Fiber optic cables.
  • A Coaxial cable or Coax is a cable, is used in the transmission of audio, video, and communications. Mainly coaxial cables are used as network and broadband cable.
  • Thicknet, also known as Thick Ethernet or 10Base5, and Thinnet also known as Thin Ethernet or 10Base2, are outdated Ethernet networking technologies.
  • UTP means Unshielded Twisted Pair, which is the copper media and inherited from telephony, which can be used for increasingly higher data rates.
  • STP cable is shielded Twisted Pair copper conductive netting or casing, performed with individually or with external conductive shield around all pairs.
  • Fiver optic cable is a fast information transmission medium, Fiber optic cables carry communication signals using pulses of light generated by small lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

Learn all about Network Topology and their Advantages and Disadvantages…

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