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Data Flow in Data Communication

Updated on June 27, 2015


Communication between two devices can be simplex, half-duplex or full duplex.


In this type of communication the device which acts like transmitter, only transmits data and the devices which act like receiver, only receives the data. The direction of flow of data is unidirectional as shown in the diagram below. The entire bandwidth of the channel is used in transmitting data. Example of simple type of communication is: Radio broadcasting.

Half Duplex

In this type of communication the stations or nodes can act as both transmitter and receiver. But a device can’t act as transmitter and receiver at the same time. If two nodes are concerned, when one node is acting as transmitter, then the other node acts as receiver and vice versa. Data flows only in one direction at particular time. The typical half duplex communication is depicted in the following diagram.

Since the data flows in different directions, the entire bandwidth is used in data transmission. Example: walkie-talkie

Full Duplex

In this type of communication, the station can act as transmitter and also receiver at the same time. The data can flow in both the directions at the same time.

The entire bandwidth is shared among the transmitter and receiver. Example: Telephone Network


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