Common Mediums of Internet Data Transmission


The Internet has been the savior of humanity for various reasons, the major one being the speed and efficiency that it carries. No doubt it has been the fastest medium of data transmission, beating the competition by a huge margin. However, this wasn’t always the case, and just like with every other great thing, the internet also had its humble beginnings before becoming the technological behemoth it is today.

Developed as a data-sharing medium between intelligence agencies and the armed forces at the peak of the cold war by DARPA. A similar type of network was also made in the Soviet Union (Now the Russian Federation) and other parts of the world during this time. But as soon as the Cold War died down, people realized the potential of this information-sharing network. Instead of closing this program, it was transferred to big universities in order to assist different sub-campuses to collaborate in their research work. 

It wasn’t until the early 90s that the internet became commercialized and came into the hands of the general population. The sole credit for this marvelous feat is bestowed upon companies like Microsoft and Netscape that made their infamous web browsers, the Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. These applications allowed regular people to access the internet and slowly the development of internet pages and websites started.

What started as a small step in data transmission in the 90s has almost become a technological revolution 30 years later. This is evident by the sheer influence of the internet in our current technological landscape. Almost everything has a touch of the internet into it today, a major reason behind this is the extremely adaptable nature of the internet to integrate with almost every existing technology, while another major reason is the cost-effectiveness of this medium.

Technological progression and advancement of infrastructure have not only made the internet efficient but also brought down the cost drastically. A major example of this reduction can be observed through Cox internet prices, and it is because of providers like Cox Communications that high-speed internet is within the reach of many. As a result of this affordability, almost 5.03 billion people are internet users which makes up 61% of the world’s population.   

Modes of Internet Transmission

We talked about the price of the internet going down, however, that’s not all because there have been significant advancements in terms of the technological aspects of the internet as well. Since it is a data-carrying innovation its speed and efficiency are dependent on the physical transmission medium through which data is traveled, and the major number of innovations that have been carried out on the internet has been based upon the betterment of its transmission medium.

Throughout the history of the internet, there have been many transmission mediums through which the data is carried from one place to another. The usage of these transmission mediums is dependent upon many factors that range from coverage area, speed, bandwidth capacity, and cost factors. We have heard names like Wifi, DSL, Fiber, and Cable internet but do you know they all are the transmission mediums through which data is transmitted? 

Through this post, we’ll figure out different mediums of transmission of the internet and which mediums suit what kind of conditions for providing optimal performance to the user.


DSL stands for Digital Subscribers Line and is probably the oldest method of high-speed internet transmission that is in use today. This was the first of its kind technological innovation that sprung out of the traditional dial-up connection. Although it’s not as fast or stable as its other counterparts, it is still a cheap and easy-to-deploy internet infrastructure that is still prevalent in many rural and mountainous regions.


This is the most widely used transmission network for the internet and uses the traditional Coaxial cable which is often used for cable TV setup. Cable internet is quite fast and has the bandwidth capability of up to 1Gbps. It uses electric signals to transmit data packets, unlike DSL which is based upon the traditional phone lines. Although quite famous and most widely used still this transmission medium has been overtaken by our next contender on the list.


The latest and fastest internet transmission medium available today is the fiber internet. Based upon a network of Fibre Optic cables that uses the light as a carrier to transmit data from one place to another. The efficiency of this medium can be witnessed through its bandwidth capability which can go up to 100Gbps and that’s a symmetrical bandwidth for both uploads and downloads, a feature exclusive to fiber internet only. However, due to it being expensive and a complicated transmission medium to maintain, it isn’t available in that many places and is mostly restricted to urban regions, plus the cost factor that is quite high makes people hesitant to opt for it.


Wifi is the functionality to distribute internet data to devices that don’t have the option to be connected through cables e.g smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, etc. Although people confuse it as a medium of the internet itself, it’s just a front-end transmission device where at the back it gets the actual data from one of these major transmission infrastructures mentioned above. There’s usually a Wifi router that’s involved, which is a device in which the actual cable is plugged in. The Wifi router then converts these wired data packets into wireless signals for transmission. 


In contrast to Wifi, satellite and cellular data are the technologies that directly send internet data to users’ end devices using wireless signals. Whereas in cellular internet, the cell towers of your telephone carriers are used to transmit data. While in satellite medium of transmission, the satellite does all the job of supplying the internet to the user. Although these mediums have a wide coverage range and give users the freedom to go cable-free, but still have their own share of cons like reliability issues, and limited bandwidths, plus the increased cost factor is also there. 

If you’re looking for the best satellite internet option, Viasat and HughesNet are both popular choices with widespread coverage across the United States. Viasat offers higher speeds and greater data allowances than HughesNet, but their plans may come with higher costs as well. On the other hand, HughesNet offers more affordable plans with lower speeds, making it a good option for those with basic internet needs.


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