I am learning about the OSI model and TCP/IP Protocol.

In my understanding, they classify cables to layer 1 (Physical Layer). But, when you connect two different devices you have to use cables no matter what levels you want to connect (type varies by standards but basically, it's required). (a host -> router, a router -> switch, etc).

So, When I connect A computer to my router directly. It only reaches layer 3, I still need a cable though, right? What is the definition of cable in this case? What sort of layer can I put the cable to?

1 Answer 1


The physical layer (OSI L1) is the only layer where data is physically moved from one location to another. Cabling is a necessary part of that unless you're using wireless signaling.

All other layers "just" provide increasing abstraction levels that increase the overall functionality in a modular way - see OSI Model and Networking Protocols Relationship for more details.

Even devices "working on layer x" require the functionality provided by lower layers, including the physical layer - ports, cables, ... Therefore, a switch implements layers 1-2, a router implements 1-3, a host implements 1-7.

  • I think that the cable is just a transmission medium and is not part of the physical layer Feb 8, 2022 at 17:35
  • But it is - see Wikipedia: The physical layer is responsible for the transmission and reception of unstructured raw data between a device and a physical transmission medium.
    – Zac67
    Feb 8, 2022 at 17:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.