Difference Between Guided and Unguided Media

The computer and other communicating gadgets represent data in the form of signals. The signals transmit between communicating gadgets as electromagnetic energy, and thus the signals are called electromagnetic signals. Electromagnetic signals are the combination of electric and magnetic fields that vibrates according to one another. The electromagnetic signs can go through different transmission media. The transmission media is comprehensively grouped into two classifications that are guided and unguided media.

The fundamental contrast between guided and unguided media is that in the guided media, the signals travel through a physical medium though, in unguided media, the signals travel through the air. There are some more contrasts among guided and unguided media which we have discussed with the assistance of a comparison chart shown below.

BasicThe signal requires a physical path for transmission.The signal is broadcasted through air or sometimes water.
Alternative nameIt is called wired communication or bounded transmission media.It is called wireless communication or unbounded transmission media.
DirectionIt provides direction to signal for travelling.It does not provide any direction.
TypesTwisted pair cable, coaxial cable and fibre optic cable.Radio wave, microwave and infrared.

Definition of Guided Media

Guided transmission media are all the more ordinarily known as the wired communication or bounded transmission media. The electromagnetic signals travel between the imparting gadgets through an actual medium/conductor. As the mechanism for transmission is an actual conductor, it likewise gives direction to the signal. Yet, there are physical limitations of the conductor in the guided media. Like the length of the conductor, its installation cost, its maintenance, and so on

The guided media is arranged further into three classifications that are twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, and fiber-optic cable. The twisted-pair cable has two conductors wires wounded around each another and each encompassed by an insulating material. The twisted-pair cable is adaptable and simple to introduce. Yet, it has low bandwidth and gives less protection from obstruction. Twisted pair cables are additionally of two sorts shielded and unshielded twisted pair cables.

The coaxial cable has a focal center conveyor (generally copper) enclosed in a protecting sheath, which is additionally encased in an external metallic plait, it serves as both security against noise and as a second conductor that finishes the circuit. Presently, the external metallic covering is additionally covered by a protecting sheath. The coaxial cable conveys signs of higher recurrence than the twisted pair cable.

The third class is the optical fiber which is made of glass or plastic, and it transmits signals as light. The optical fiber is noise resistance, has less signal constriction, and has a higher bandwidth in comparison to twisted pair cable and coaxial cable. In any case, it likewise has a few drablocks like; it is very expensive, it requires a ton of installation and upkeep charge as any deformity in the link can diffuse light and change the signals. As the optical fiber is made of glass, it is delicate.

Thus, we have discussed the significant classes of guided media lets proceed onward to unguided media.

Definition of Unguided Media

The unguided media is likewise called wireless communication. It doesn’t need any physical medium to transmit electromagnetic signals. In unguided media, the electromagnetic signals are broadcasted through the air to everybody. These signals are accessible to one who has the gadget equipped for receiving those signals.

The unguided media is additionally called unbounded media as it doesn’t have any line constraint. The unguided media allows the user to associate constantly, as the correspondence is wireless the user can interface himself from anyplace to the network.

The unguided media is classified into radio waves, microwaves, and infrared waves. The radio waves are created effectively; they are low-recurrence signals and can travel a significant distance. The radio waves can penetrate through the structures.

The microwaves are transmitted in a straight line and consequently require line-of-sight transmission. The distance covered by the microwave signal relies upon the stature of the two radio wire. More the taller are reception apparatuses longer is the distance covered by the sign. The microwave has a recurrence higher than the radio waves. Microwave is used for phone correspondence cell phones, TV distribution, and so on

Infrared waves are used for short range correspondence. Like, the remote control for TVs, VCRs, and so forth uses infrared waves. It can not infiltrate through obstructions. The government licence isn’t needed, to work an infrared framework as it is safer against eavesdropping.

Related: Types of Unguided Media


Guided Media

Unguided Media


The signal energy propagates through wires in guided media.

The signal energy propagates through the air in unguided media.


Guided media is used for point to point communication.

Unguided media is generally suited for radio broadcasting in all directions.


Discrete network topologies are formed by the guided media.

Continuous network topologies are formed by the unguided media.


Signals are in the form of voltage, current, or photons in the guided media.

Signals are in the form of electromagnetic waves in unguided media.


<Examples of guided media are twisted pair wires, coaxial cables, optical fiber cables.

Examples of unguided media are microwave or radio links and infrared light.


By adding more wires, the transmission can be expanded in guided media.

It is not possible to obtain additional capacity in unguided media.

Please feel free to give your comment if you face any difficulty here.