We are living in a world of magic, the internet. The impossible of yesterday is possible today thanks to the technology. The magic that your voice can echo around the world, that you can find any information on the internet, but there was a time in the past that if you do not know anything, you just do not.
The question to ask now is how a text message, image, video can be sent from a device to another, from a location to another or from continent to another.
Recall from our last post where we talked about Cybersecurity and crime, the information we share, services we use can be compromised if we did not take our precautions to protect ourselves online.
However, in today’s post, we are going to learn about Wires, Cables, and WIFI. By the end of this post, you will be able to understand how data can be share and travel around or even moved from a continent to another.
In the physical world, when we send mails from a short to long distance, the mails can be transported via, bikes, cars, airplanes, etc.
Instead of envelopes, boxes, the internet ships binary information. You can read more about it on How data size and data speed is measured.
1 = a bit
0 = a bit
Because it’s two-digit or character (0 and 1) that why we called Binary.
To send information from a device to another, everything is transmitted as binary, and we are not sending physical 1s and 0s from one device to another.
To understand, let us see how humans used physical devices from one place to another.
Through history, humans used the below way to send information or to communicate
But today we sending information by using:
- Radio Wave
To send a bit using the electricity, for example, two operators can agree when light is on = 1, and when light is off = 0, then they may decide to send one bit by second by agreeing on that protocol.
They may decide to send one bit per second and using the clock method to record the duration of light. When light is off for 5 seconds then it’s 00000 and vice versa.
One bit per second is good for humans, but we need to send information as fast as possible. To do that, we use
BANDWIDTH, the maximum transmission capacity of a device that is measure by
BITRATE, which is the number of bits that we can send in a given period, usually measured in seconds.
LATENCY is time that takes for a bit to travel from the source to the destination.
One bit per second is fast for humans, but what if we are downloading a .mp3 song that is maybe 3MB in 3 seconds.
3 MB = 24,000,000 bits
Then 3 seconds = 8,000,000 bits per second of Bit Rate
Therefore, if we take 3MB = 24,000,000 to download by the human speed of one bit per second, that means we have 24,000,000 second or 400,000 minutes to download 3MB of a .mp3 song.
A human cannot send and receive such amount of bits, but a machine can handle it in 3 seconds.
The question is; what kind of cable to use to send and receive that information?
The cable used to send and receive information is the Ethernet cable.
PRO of electricity with Ethernet cable is that it is cheap
CON is that it has many SIGNAL LOSS
To send information around the world over a long distance we have to think about the kind of cable to use and how to send bits across the oceans.
This is another way of sending and receiving information using Fiber Optic Cable
A Fiber Optic Cable is a tread of glass engineering to reflect light.
Using this method, we can send and receive bits simultaneously traveling up and down like waves, in the speed of light.
- No signal loss even on long-distance
This is how data can be sent across the sea, by using fiber optic to connect continents.
In 2008, a submarine cable was cut in Alexandria, Egypt that interrupted the internet in the almost Middle East and India.
- Hard to work with
How data is sent wirelessly or without cable?
Wireless communication uses a radio signal to send bits from one device to another, then the machine receiver can interpret those waves to bits according to different frequencies.
PRO: Wireless is totally for mobile
CON: it is short-range, it does not travel far before the signal gets the loss.
Good as wireless can be, it is still relying on wires connection. If the coffee shop uses WIFI, the bits get sent to the wireless router, and then the bits can be sent to the physical wires to be sent in light speed across the oceans through the optic fiber in long distance.
This way of sending information may change in the future using maybe the satellites to make the liaison between them or drones, but the binary representation information and the protocols for sending and receiving that information are still the same.
Everything on the internet from words, texts, images, videos, all come down to the 1s and 0s that are delivered by electric pulses, light, and radio waves.
Thanks for reading,
By Alexis Ange Dauli, Web Developer.