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Business Data Communications,

Fourth Edition
Chapter 3: Communications Media, Servers,
and Clients
Learning Objectives
• Describe the difference between guided media
and unguided media
• Define twisted pair wire, coaxial cable, and fiber
optic cable
• Describe how different types of cables are used
in networks
• List five forms of transmission that use unguided
media
• Describe the difference between microwave and
broadcast radio

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Learning Objectives
• Identify the advantages of one medium over
another in terms of cost, speed, and data
reliability
• Describe the use of various types of computers
in a communications system
• Explain the differences among servers and
various types of clients
• Describe the line configurations used to connect
terminals in a network

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Learning Objectives
• Explain how computers and modems
communicate using RS-232 connectors
• List applications of the RS-449, Universal
Serial Bus, and FireWire standards

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Introduction
• Devices on a network are connected using
a medium
• Physical wire – guided medium
• Wireless – unguided medium
• Cost and performance differ among the
types of media

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Guided Media
• Twisted Pair Wire
– Insulated copper wire, twisted to prevent interference
– Unshielded twisted pair (UTP)
• No extra insulation
• Prone to interference
• Used for residential telephones
– Shielded twisted pair (STP)
• Each pair of wires is in a metallic shield
• Good insulation qualities
– UTP Categories 1 through 6

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Guided Media
• Coaxial Cable (Coax)
– Better insulation than UTP or STP
– Broadband
• Many channels on one physical cable
• Cable TV
– Baseband
• One channel (or signal) on one cable
• Used in computer networks

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Guided Media
• Fiber Optic Cable
– Construction of fiber
• Very pure glass or plastic
• Outer sheathing to bundle the fibers
– How data is transmitted
• Uses a light source
• Light-emitting diode (LED)
• Laser

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Guided Media
• Fiber Optic Cable
– Multimode step index
• Light bounces off the walls of the sheathing
– Multimode graded index
• Cable core varies in density, light bent at more
shallow angles
– Single-mode cable
• Light travels in a straight line, due to very thin core

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Guided Media
• Fiber Optic Cable
– Problems with transmission of light
• Attenuation – loss of signal
• Dispersion – spreading of signal
– Interference
• Better protection than copper wires
• No crosstalk occurs

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Unguided Media
• Wireless media
• Broadcast radio
– Omnidirectional transmission
– Signals send over range of frequencies
– Radio broadcast
• Shortwave, citizen band
• Ultrahigh frequency, very high frequency
• High definition television (HDTV)
• Digital Television Technology (DTV)
• Digital Radio

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Unguided Media
• Microwave
– Unidirectional transmission
– Terrestrial microwave
– Satellite microwave
• Geosynchronous Earth orbiting satellite (GEOS)
– Satellite footprint
– Transponder (uplinks, downlinks)
– Propagation delay
• Low Earth orbiting satellite (LEOS)
• Medium Earth orbiting satellite (MEOS)

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Radiated Media
• Microwave
– Satellite microwave
• Mobile satellite service (MSS)
– Two-way voice and data communication
• Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite
(GMPCS)
– Early warning for emergencies
• Direct broadcast satellites
– DirectTV
• Global positioning system (GPS)
– Triangulation method to determine spot on earth
– Used in autos, boats, planes, golf carts

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Unguided Media
• Cellular Radio
– Cellular telephones
– Broadcast area
• Cells
• Antenna in each cell
– Used for voice and data
– Transmissions can be picked up by scanners
– Cloning occurs less frequently now

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Unguided Media
• Spread Spectrum Radio
– Spreads radio transmission over a range rather over a
narrow frequency
– Any device in the area can pick up the signal
– Frequency-hopping spread spectrum
• Signal hops over a series of frequencies
• Devices must be synchronized
– Direct sequence spread spectrum
• Signal is broadcast on several frequencies simultaneously
• Chip is added to identify the transmission to devices
• Several users can use the same frequency
• LANs use DSSS

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Unguided Media
• Infrared Transmission
– Light signals sent at a frequency that cannot
be seen
– Used in remote controls
– IrDA ports used with printers, keyboards,
mouse
– LANs use this for wireless transmission

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Selection of Media
• Cost
– UTP is least expensive
– Fiber optic cable most expensive
• Speed
– UTP slowest
– Fiber Optic cable is fastest
• Rate of Errors
• Security

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Computers in a Network
– Wide Area Network (WAN)
• Covers large geographic area
– Local Area Network (LAN)
• Limited geographic area
– Computers are nodes on a network
– Server – controlling computer
– Client – many types of devices that use
information on the server

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Mainframe Computers and Supercomputers
– Host Computers
• Accessed by many terminals
• Acts as a server in a network
• Used in WANs and LANs
– Supercomputers
• Weather forecasting, space travel
• Universities and the government generally own them

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Midrange computers
– Smaller and slower than mainframe
– May be used as a server
– Used in WANs and LANs
– Departmental computing
• Personal Computers
– May be a server or a client
– Extremely versatile

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Clients (Terminals)
– Device for input/output
– Dumb terminals
• No processing or storage capability
• No buffers
• Operates in uncontrolled mode
• Asynchronous transmission
– Smart terminals
• Has memory and buffer
• Operates in controlled mode
• Synchronous transmission

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Clients (Terminals)
– Intelligent Terminals
• Memory
• Contains firmware
• Operate in controlled mode
– Programmable Terminals
• Limited memory and processing capability
• Can act as stand-alone devices
• Less flexible than a PC
• Popular before PCs

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Clients (Terminals)
– X Terminal
• Uses X Windows
• Graphical client used with TCP/IP or UNIX
• Can access many servers simultaneously
– Terminal Emulation
– Thin-Client (Network) Computer
• Used only to connect to a network
– Network Personal Computer
• Has some memory and storage

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Computers and Terminals in a
Network
• Special-Purpose Terminals
– Point-of-Sale Terminals
• Uses bar code reader to read UPC
– Credit Card Authorization Devices
– Smart Card
– Automated Teller Machines
– Airline Reservation Systems

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Computers and Terminals in a
Communications Network
• Special-Purpose Terminals
– Network Printers
– Facsimile Machines
– Telephone
– Remote Input Clients
• Utility use
• Rental car agencies
– Engineering Industry Clients
• CAD/CAM

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Network Configurations
• Configuration is the way servers and clients are
connected in a network
• Point-to-Point
– Direct line between sending and receiving device
– Point-to-Point Protocol
• Multipoint
– Many clients on a shared circuit
– Response time is how long a client waits for a
response from the server

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Terminal Interfaces
• Interface
– How devices are connected to a network
• Data Communication Equipment (DCE)
– Modems, media, switching equipment
• Data Terminal Equipment (DTE)
– Clients, servers, concentrators, multiplexers
• EIA RS-232F
– Interface that connects DCE to DTE
– 25-pin electrical connection
– Used on a serial port
• Compare to parallel port

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Terminal Interfaces
• RS-449
– 37-pin connector
– Allows expanded functions
• Universal Serial Bus (USB)
– Used for low-volume I/O devices
• FireWire
– High-speed video and audio connections
• Handshaking

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Summary
• Three types of guided media
– Twisted pair
– Coaxial cable
– Fiber optic cable
• Unguided media use no wires
– Radio
– Microwave
– Infrared

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Summary
• Least expensive is twisted pair
• Most expensive is fiber optic cable
• Fiber optic transmits at fastest speed
• Error rate is lowest on fiber optic cable
• Fiber optic cable is the most secure
medium

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Summary
• Mainframes, supercomputers, minicomputers,
personal computers can be part of a network
• Terminals are general-purpose or special-
purpose
• Point-to-point configurations
• Multipoint configurations
• Terminals connections - RS-232F or RS-449
• USB and FireWire are new interface standards

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Chapter 3 Complete