Communication device

Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
Wireless modem

A communication device is a hardware device capable of transmitting an analog or digital signal over the telephone, other communication wire, or wirelessly.

A classic example of a communication device is a computer modem, which converts a computer's digital information to an analog signal for transmission over a telephone line. Similarly, a modem receives analog signals, and converts them to digital, for processing by the computer. This process is called modulation/demodulation, from which the modem gets its name.

Other examples of communication devices include a NIC (network interface card), Wi-Fi devices, and access points.

Communication device examples

Below is a full listing of all the different types of communications devices you may encounter when dealing with a computer.

Computer wireless adapters

Communication device errors

Any time a communication device encounters problems communicating with another device, you may encounter a communication error. Below is a list of general steps that can be verified when this error is encountered.

  • If your communication device uses a wire, make sure it is firmly connected.
  • Make sure the proper drivers are installed and that no errors or conflicts are occurring with the driver, and that the device is detected.
  • If your communication device requires settings, make sure they're correct. For example, a network card requires the proper IP (Internet Protocol), DNS (domain name system), and Subnet settings to establish a connection with the network, and be able to find its route to other network devices.

Why do computers need communication devices?

A computer can work fine without a communication device. However, for a computer to communicate with other computers, they need a communication device. For example, for your computer to connect to the Internet to view this web page, it needs a communication device. Without a communication device, you'd have to use a sneaker net to transfer or share data between computers.

Hardware terms, Modem terms, Network terms