Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can create disruptions in the functioning of electronic equipment and can affect the quality of communications, transmissions, and playback. It can also impact data transmission that depend on electromagnetic transport mechanisms, such as telephone, cellular, television, audio, radio, and network mechanisms. There are two types of EMI: common mode EMI, generated by the difference in power between the live and ground wires of a power source or operating electronic equipment, and traverse mode EMI, which is generated by the difference in power between the live and neutral wires of a power source or operating electronic equipment.
Radio frequency interference (RFI) is similar to EMI and can impact the same systems. RFI is produced by a number of common electrical appliances such as fluorescent lights, electrical cables, electric space heaters, computers, elevators, motors, and electromagnets.