Different Types of Transmission Media in Computer Networks

If you are familiar with the computer network and its other terms. You may know that the data can be represented via the computer and telecom devices using signals. The transmission of these signals is done from one device to another by electromagnetic energy. And the form of electromagnetic energy can be in the air, vacuum, and other types of transmission mediums. Moreover, electromagnetic energy covers radio signals, light, voice, UV rays, and power.

The transmission media means the physical layer of the path that connects the sender and receiver of the data. Thus, to better understand the types of transmission media here, we have covered a detailed article.

What is Transmission Media?

Transmission media in the computer network is the device that is used as the communication channel. And this channel transfers the given data in the bits between sender and receiver with the help of LAN.

Mainly the transmission media uses electromagnetic signals, and these data are transmitted in the physical lane. However, the number of transmission bits can vary from the type of network you are using in the computer network. Generally, the bits are used in the electric signals, and they can be in light signals if you use fiber networks.

Also Read: Different Types of Data Transmission

Nowadays, there are mainly two types of transmission media, and these types are known as wired and unwired transmission media. Both transmission media types have other types too, and here in this post, you will learn about all these. But before that, you should know that these types are based on delay, maintenance, cost, installation effort, and bandwidth.

Types of Transmission Media

Different Types of Transmission Media

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We have discussed above that there are two significant types of transmission media. Those are known as wired or guided and wireless or unguided media.

Guided Or Wired Transmission Media

Wired or guided transmission media is also called the bound transmission media. These are tangible in nature and have physical existence. The data transfer can be quickly done using a narrow path and directly through the physical model with this transmission media. These types of transmission media are highly secure, fast, and can be used for short-distance data transfer. Generally, wired transmission media has around five types which are discussed below.

Twisted Pair Cable

It is the popular guided media type that is used for data transmission through the twisted pair cable. The features of the twisted pair cables are that they are inexpensive, fast, and easy to install. Moreover, they can support 100Mbps easily without any restriction from physical transmission.

So, to make the single media here, the two conductor wires come in use which are insulated separately, but it gets twisted for the result. The purpose is to use these two-wires to transfer the data and attach one wire with the ground. Most manufacturers color coat the cables to understand them easily and their use too. These cables can reduce the noise level and can be used for telephone networks.

Shield Twisted Pair

Shield twisted pair is the type of twisted-pair cable with a specially designed cover to restrict the external interfaces. These cables offer high performance with a high rate and can be used for reducing cross-talk. However, it can be costly and can be heavy for the installation process.

Unshielded Twisted Pair

These are the cable type of twisted pair cable and are commonly used for various places. These cables do not have a metal foil or shield. These cables also provide high speed, low cost, and simple installation but can have less capacity.

Microstrip Line

These are the types of wired media that have the separation of the conducting material. And these can be worked from the plan surface via the dielectric layer of the cable.


It is the media type that transmits the data using electromagnetic mode. It is used to send a high level of frequency signals from one device to another. However, the two ground or surface plane layers can be used in the stripline wiring and can be placed to provide EMI immunity.

Optical Fiber Cable

The optical fiber cable uses the reflection of the light, and its core or the surface is a build-up of either plastic or glass. It can also be covered with cladding that is the less dense version of the glass or plastic. However, the OFC is used for transmitting a large set of data from one device to another ideal device. And these cables are bidirectional or unidirectional that can be WDM or wavelength division multiplexer.

Coaxial Cable

The coaxial cable is also the type of wired media with an outer plastic cover. Every conductor of the cable has a separate cover. Also, these cables can be used in two ways, such as in broadband connection and baseband connection mode. However, these cables are also ideal for use in TV networks and cable TV. These wires are cost-effective and reduce noise; hence it is one of the majorly used wired cables.

Unguided Or Wireless Transmission Media

Unguided or wireless transmission media is also called the unbound transmission media. And with this media, the data transmission happened without using any wired medium. It has no physical barrier to transfer the data and thus can transmit the data for considerable distances.

Wireless transmission has the three types such as microwaves, infrared, and radio waves. Below is detailed information about these three types of unbound transmission media.


Microwaves are considered the type of radio waves with high-level frequencies that can be anywhere from 300 Mhz to 300Ghz. In the microwaves, the subparts are required to be connected to perform the complete transmission process. Nowadays, these wireless media are used in television distribution and also in setting up mobile phone communication.

Radio Waves

Radio Waves are also referred to as EM waves that are easy to manufacture and easy to penetrate. It has a wavelength that can range from 1mm to 10k kilometers. Moreover, its frequencies can be between 300 Ghz to 30hz. Generally, this transmission media is used for cordless phones, AM and FM radios.


It is also one of the wireless transmissions with IR signals. These signals are mainly used for communicating at a short distance. It also prevents any type of interference and also penetrates the obstacles. The infrared waves have around 300 Ghz to 400ThZ frequencies and can be used in mice, keyboards, and printers.


Thus, in this article, we learned about the types of transmission media, where we covered its two types. Moreover, we also discussed types of the wired and wireless transmission media. Thus, I hope now you have understood the types of transmission media.

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