The Basics of Data Communication

Data communication is the primary element that connects us to the devices and services we depend on in our interconnected digital world. It includes a variety of techniques and media which dictate how information is sent from one end to another. Understanding how this works helps us create reliable and efficient networks that can reap the benefits of greater connectivity, like better business efficiency in productivity, as well as advancements in automation.

The basic concept of data communication is the transfer of data from one computer to another through an intermediary or channel. This can be done via either a cable, satellite signal, radio frequency or wirelessly. A device or person who transmits data is called the sender and the computer which receives the data is known as the receiver. In a data communication network, more than two computers could be involved in the communication process.

Multiplexing and Demultiplexing are communication techniques that optimize bandwidth use and cut costs. Both of these processes require special hardware that can combine and separate signals. Custom integrated circuits are typically used to perform this function and are found in a variety of communication devices that include cell phones, computers, and printers.

Full-duplex is the method of data communication that allows simultaneous two-way communication between a pair of devices. This mode is more complex than simplex transmission, as it requires the capability to send and receive data at the same time.