The process in which data is transferred from one computer to another is known as communication media. Data communication involves transmission of digital information to different electronic devices through wireless or cabled connections. The two commonly used computer communication media used are bounded and unbounded media.
A. Bound Media
Data transfer through physical connections is referred to as bounded media in that signals are sent to other external devices from one computer in a network. Computers can be connected to share files and devices in a network by means of cabling which facilitates faster communication of information. Bounded media is a faster data communication that provides high speed transfer of signals over long distances and is the most reliable media for message sending.
Bounded media is categorized into three types of data communication which enables connection of different types of network. These cables include:
1. Coaxial cable
This is most common bounded media that many electronics to transfer data and it is designed with two parallel copper conductors. It has a solid central copper conductor that transmits signal and is covered with a protective cover to reduce electromagnetic interference. Coaxial cable is found in different gauges at affordable prices and is easier to work with. They are easy to install and can support up to 10Mps capacity with medium attenuation. Despite its popularity, the only serious drawback it has is that the entire network is always affected with a single cable failure.
2. Twisted pair cable
Twisted pair cables are found in two types and these include unshielded and shielded twisted pair cables. It is commonly used because it is lighter and inexpensive. They are made up of twisted solid copper wires which help to reduce susceptibility to EMI and cross talk effects. This type of cables is cheaper and can support up to 100mps speed capacity.
3. Fiber optic
Unlike other types of cables, fiber optic uses electrical signals for communication and is made up of reflective cladding that causes loss of light in the glass core. Although it is expensive and hard to install, optical cables can support at least 2gbps and are not vulnerable to EMI interference. It has also got very fast data transmission and very low attenuation compared to other data cables.
B. Unbounded media
This type of data communication media evolves networking of multiple computers through a wireless connection. Creating a wireless connection is much easier since no physical connection is required and can connect multiple computers in a room. Unbounded media uses space or air as the transmission medium for electronic waves. Some of the unbounded media are the satellites, radio, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi among others. Installation of wireless network is much easier and faster compared to the bounded media which require an expert to do the configuration. Through wireless settings, you can also transfer huge files of data to any networked computer since the unbounded media supports very high bandwidths just like the cabled network.
Typically, in order to transmit data over networked computers, you will have to use either bounded or unbounded types of media. Depending on the type of network you want to create, convenient type of media is required to enable consistent and proper data communication.