Types of Network and Transmission Media


Types of Networks Based on Size –

LAN ( Local Area Network )

  • LAN or Local Area Network, is a group of computers connected together within a building or organization.
  • Group of two or more computers for a LAN.
  • Coaxial or CAT 5 cables are normally used in this.
  • Errors and noise are minimum due to short range
  • Data Transfer rate between 0 to 100 Mbps.
  • Example – A network within an office area.

MAN (Medium Area Network)

  • MAN or Metropolitan Area Network is an extended form of LAN to cover a much larger area.
  • Covers a larger area of 5 to 50 km.
  • Handled by an organization of individual
  • The organization with different branches in different cities

WAN(Wide Area Network)

  • Across the country or over a very large area
  • Contains multiple LANs or MANs
  • The data transfer rate is slow as compared to LANs or MANs
  • Speed depends upon location or ISP(Internet Service Provider).
  • Example – Internet

Transmission Media 

Transmission media refers to the physical pathways that carry signals from one device to another. There are three main classes of transmission media:

  1. Wired Transmission Media: These are physical cables or wires that are used to transmit signals. Examples of wired transmission media include twisted pair cables, coaxial cables, and fiber optic cables. Twisted pair cables are commonly used in local area networks (LANs), while fiber optic cables are used for long-distance transmission of data and telecommunications signals.
  2. Wireless Transmission Media: These are media that use wireless signals to transmit data. Examples of wireless transmission media include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networks. Wireless transmission media are widely used in mobile computing and communication.
  3. Guided Transmission Media: These are media that provide a physical conduit or pathway for the signals to travel. Examples of guided transmission media include transmission lines, waveguides, and optical fibers. Guided transmission media are commonly used in telecommunications and signal-processing applications.

Types of transmission media in a computer network

In computer networks, there are several types of transmission media used to transmit data from one device to another. The choice of transmission media depends on factors such as the required bandwidth, distance, cost, and the specific networking technology being used. Here are the main types of transmission media in computer networks:

  1. Twisted Pair Cable: Twisted pair cable consists of pairs of insulated copper wires twisted together. It is one of the most common types of transmission media used in computer networks. Twisted pair cables are further classified into two categories: unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and shielded twisted pair (STP). UTP is widely used for Ethernet connections in homes and offices, while STP provides better noise immunity and is used in industrial environments.
  2. Coaxial Cable: Coaxial cable consists of a central conductor, surrounded by an insulating layer, a metal shield, and an outer insulating layer. It is commonly used in cable television (CATV) networks and broadband internet access. Coaxial cable provides moderate to high bandwidth and is suitable for medium-range transmission.
  3. Fiber Optic Cable: Fiber optic cable uses thin strands of glass or plastic fibers to transmit data as pulses of light. It offers high bandwidth, long-distance transmission, and immunity to electromagnetic interference. Fiber optic cables are commonly used in high-speed networks, long-haul connections, and telecommunications infrastructure. They are capable of carrying large amounts of data over long distances with minimal loss and are highly reliable.
  4. Wireless Transmission: Wireless transmission media use radio waves or infrared signals to transmit data without the need for physical cables. Wireless transmission is commonly used in wireless local area networks (WLANs), mobile networks, and internet access in public areas. It provides flexibility, mobility, and easy connectivity between devices. Examples of wireless technologies include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networks.
  5. Satellite Communication: Satellite communication involves the use of communication satellites orbiting the Earth to transmit signals over long distances. It is particularly useful for long-range communication in areas where wired or terrestrial wireless connections are not available or practical. Satellite communication is used for television broadcasting, internet connectivity in remote areas, and global communication systems.
  6. Power Line Communication (PLC): Power Line Communication utilizes existing electrical power lines to transmit data signals. It enables data communication over the power distribution network, allowing devices to be connected to the internet or a local network using power outlets. PLC is commonly used for home automation systems, smart grid applications, and broadband over power line (BPL) technology.

These are the main types of transmission media used in computer networks. The choice of transmission media depends on the specific requirements of the network, including distance, bandwidth, cost, and environmental factors.

Previous articlePhysical structures in computer network with examples
Next articleWhat are Twisted Pair, Fiber Optics and Coaxial Cables?
Harshit brijwasi Yuvayana
I am Harshit Brijwasi. I am an engineer and a Technical Content writer. I am here to share my knowledge about technical topics and help researchers with them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.