Data Link

What Does Data Link Mean?

A data link is a method for connecting one location to another in telecommunications, in order to transmit and receive digital information. Data transfer happens over a certain link protocol that allows data to be transferred from the source to the destination. In the OSI model for computer networking, the data link essentially makes up the second layer. It offers procedures and functions for the transfer of data and can also correct errors that occur in the physical layer.


Techopedia Explains Data Link

A data link is meant to establish a connection between two devices that need to transfer data between one another. There are three types of data link configurations for establishing connections: simplex, half-duplex and duplex. Simplex is only meant for unidirectional communication. Half-duplex allows bidirectional communication, but not simultaneously. Duplex allows for bidirectional connections that can transmit simultaneously. Data links are largely governed by protocols for the transfer of data.

In simple terms, using a data link, two devices in a network can communicate with each other and transfer data. Establishing a proper data link is essential for a successful telecommunication project implementation.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.