Data Communication-Definition, components, Types, Channels?

People use different languages as per the place they are living, language is used for communication purposes. Nowadays technology is improved a lot, communication became easy even though the distance between people is huge. People in one place may communicate easily with people who are in the other place using different technologies like messages, mobiles, etc… distance is not a matter for communication. It is also possible through videos, and images to the beloved people. We can express anything by communication only. With the enhancement of technology, there are more options like wired and wireless communication.


Communication means sending and receiving data between two people or nodes, where one acts as the sender and another is the receiver. Nodes are the computers that participate in the communication. More than two computers can be involved.

It is not about sharing data or information, through communication it is possible to share resources also.

Components of Data Communication

To transfer the data between sender and receiver communication plays a major role, while communication there are some components to use they are −

  • Message − From the word itself we can understand that message is the information or data that the sender or receiver intended to get known by the other person in communication. The message is transmitted between the parties in communication. The message might be the text, audio, Hyperlink, image, or video.

  • Sender − Sender is the person or a computer or device who is send the data to the other party in the communication. The sender is the one who is sending the data.

  • Receiver − The receiver is the one who is receive the data from the other part or other ends. After receiving the message receiver will respond to the message utilizing either a reply or acknowledgment.

  • Medium or Channel − Through Channel or medium two computers will connect for communication. The data will travel through the channel or medium only. Sometimes the medium is either wired or sometimes it is wireless.

  • Protocols − The meaning of protocol is a set of rules that have to follow while communicating. By following the proper protocols communication becomes easy and flexible.

Every message that is participated in the communication has to follow protocols. There are two types of protocols Transmission Control Protocol(TCP) and the other one is User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

1. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

In transmission control protocol the data is divided into segments. Each segment is part of the message. Every segment has a sequence number to make the message clear at the receiver end. The segments will reach the receiver in the correct order as it is as sender sends them because it is a wired transmission so it is very secure that the packets or segments will surely reach the destination in the correct format. After reassembling the collected segments at the receiver end the message is the same as what the source sends.

2. Internet Protocol(IP)

Every computer has its address. Within a computer, there are many computers are there, how does a packet know that it is reaching the correct destination, how the destination node understood that it the correct packet, there is an IP concept, it will help the packet to reach the correct destination.

Data communication is the transmission of data between source and destination. Communicate between parties there are different possibilities are there.

1. Simplex

It is one type of communication, where single action is performed continuously from one end. i.e the node either performs the option or other nodes will perform the receiving. It is a 1- way of communication because transmission happens in one direction only. The best examples are the speakers, who always used to transmit the sound.

2. Half Duplex

It is the extension to the simplex. It is a 2-way communication, where source and destination participate in communication but not at a time. The first sender will send the data, and after receiving the data only the receiver will respond. An example of this half duplex is Walkie talkie.

3. Full Duplex

It is the next version of a half-duplex. The enhancement for this with the previous one is, communication or transmission happens at a time between source and destination. Sender will send the data to the destination at the same time the packet will send by the receiver to the source. Both actions are done at a time.

An example of a full-duplex is mobile. Where two people from two ends can talk at a time.

Channels to Communicate

Channels are helpful to connect both ends who are participating in the communication. Following are the channels supported for communication.

  • Guided channels for transmission.

  • Unguided channels for transmission.

1. Guided media for transmission

There are physical connection exits between two ends source and destination. Various types are listed below −

  • Twisted pair cable − it uses two unlike cables together wrapped. That will act as a connection between two ends. Types of twisted pair cables are;

    • Unshielded Twisted pair − Unshielded means, the cable has the normal shielding and doesn’t have any extra protection to secure from other interfaces.

    • Shielded Twisted pair − As the name suggests that it has a shield to protect from other interfaces.

  • Coaxial Cable − There are two wires inner wire is the core, which carries the signal and is surrounded by another wire which will act as a shield to the inner wire.

  • Optical fiber − In this, the light will travel through the fiberglass, which consists of a core is either plastic or glass through this light will travel.

2. Unguided media for transmission

It is an unguided media which means it is wireless communication between source and destination. The medium may be water, air, etc. Some types that come under this are listed below −

  • Microwave − used for long distances, antennas will be used placed on towers to send beams. It has a transmitter and receiver.

  • Radio wave − It carries radio frequencies. Some transmitters and receivers have antennas to carry the signals.

  • Infrared − It consists of rays as signals which will be used for a short distance.


Data Communication is important in the network to send the data between sender and receiver and also used these communication links or channels for resource sharing. Many interconnected nodes can participate in communication by using the channels.

Updated on: 11-Apr-2023

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