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Guided media

Two hands coming out off computer monitors and shaking each other.  Source: Microsoft.

The most common type of cable used in data communications is copper. There are different types of copper cable but they all share the feature of transmitting data as an electrical signal. This gives rise to one of the weaknesses of this type of media, which is that sending an electronic signal causes heat that is absorbed by the media as the signal travels thus causing signal loss, i.e. attenuation. The faster the data transfer rate over copper cable the greater the possibility of signal loss and interference.

Developments in cable technology are aimed at increasing reliability and minimising data loss.

There are two main categories of copper cable:

  • Coaxial
  • Twisted pair

Next: Coaxial Cable