Networking Protocols

Network protocols
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The importance of network protocol, for every work we do there is an established protocol. These protocols are set to determine how the process has to be created and executed. Without these protocols a machine does not understand the signals sent by another machine.

What are Networking Protocols?

Networking Protocols have a defined rule that determines how the data is to be transferred among computers. There are various protocols where one can communicate with others irrespective of the application or operating system in use. The protocol determines how to start and end the message, terminating the session, detecting connection loss. There are some layers on the internet where these protocols function and these layers are represented in an OSI model.

OSI Model:

The OSI Model is a reference model that consists of 7 layers, where each layer contains a variety of protocols working in it.

  1. Physical layer – Ethernet
  2. Data Link layer – PPP 
  3. Network layer – IP, IPX
  4. Transport layer – TCP, SPX, UDP
  5. Session layer – SCP
  6. Presentation layer – JPEG, MOV, WMV
  7. Application layer – HTTP, FTP, SMTP, DNS


Ethernet is a low-cost LAN technology working on the physical and data link layer providing different speeds via fiber optic cabling. Ethernet has 2 protocols fast ethernet – 100Mb/s and gigabyte ethernet – 1024Mb/s. The ethernet was first invented in 1973 by Bob Metcalfe and a standardized form of ethernet was released in 1983 with a maximum speed of 10Mb/s with IEEE 802.3 standard. The ethernet protocol is most commonly used in LAN(local area networks), MAN(metropolitan area networks), WAN(wide area networks), and almost one-third of LAN’s in the world is ethernet LANs. Ethernet splits data into smaller frames and those frames have a header like in a packet and also the source and destination address. The cables used in ethernet are,

  • Coaxial cable -Rarely used and has a maximum transmission speed of 10Mb/s
  • Twisted-pair cable – used on a large scale and has two variants unshielded twisted pair and shielded twisted pair
  • Fiber-optic cable – Transfers data in the form of light signals, supports long-distance and is expensive.

Point-to-Point Protocol(PPP):

The Point-to-Point Protocol is also known as RFC 1661 working in the data link layer of the OSI model. It transfers multi protocol datagrams between two point-to-point machines. It has three components

  1. Encapsulation – To encapsulate(enclose)  the data and transmit it.
  2. Link control protocol – To enable, configure, and test the data link.
  3. Network control protocol – To configure different protocols in the network layer.

Internet Protocol (IP):

Internet protocol works on the network layer of the OSI model containing control and address information that routes the packet to the destination. IP together with TCP is operated in the transport layer. The two main functions of IP are encapsulating data into datagrams and providing fragmentation and reassembly of datagrams to support different MTU (Max Transmission Unit) sizes. The datagram contains two components, which are the header and payload. The header consists of source and destination address and metadata to route the datagram to its destination. The data to be transported is in the payload. The TCP/IP has assigned a 32-bit logical address and is subdivided into two parts network ID and host ID. The network number identifies the network and the host number identifies the host in the network.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP):

The transmission control protocol is connection-oriented and works on the transport layer of the OSI model. The main functions of the TCP protocol are flow control, congestion control, reordering, application addressing, and error recovery. The data exchange between applications is done in the form of bytes and TCP breaks the data into packets for better transmission, where each segment is placed in an IP packet. Each connection in a TCP will have two endpoints and can be operated with a browser. It is also called a reliable protocol because it automatically identifies and prevents data loss.

Session Control Protocol(SCP):

Session control protocol runs on the top of the TCP stack creating multiple lightweight connections from a single TCP connection. The data sent here is encapsulated into SCP packets and sent in the byte stream and the header of the SCP can be in a compressed or uncompressed format. The header contains three field flags, session identifiers, and the packet length. SCP is a byte-oriented protocol.

Secure Sockets Layer Protocol(SSL):

The SSL protocol was developed by Netscape in 1995 to eliminate the threats to data security, ensuring data integrity, and privacy. SSL uses encryption mechanisms to encrypt the data shared between two systems(ie., the server and the client), and if someone tries to access the data they only obtain the chippered text which cannot be decrypted.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP):

The Http protocol is a stateless protocol working on the application layer. Http works when a request is initiated from the browser and the server fetch us the HTML data of the webpage and the communication here is done with the TCP protocol. Some request methods in HTTP are HEAD, GET, POST, DELETE, PUT, TRACE, CONNECT, OPTIONS, PATCH. The head and get methods are probably used in all servers.

File Transfer Protocol(FTP):

File transfer protocol is used to transfer files from one host to another. Transferring files from one host to another is not a tedious process but some problems like different file conventions, different directory structures may occur. FTP enables two different lines of connection, one for data connection, another for the control connection.

The data connection has complex rules where it enables when a data transfer request is received and closes when the request is fulfilled. Where the control connections remain to be up throughout the entire session of FTP.

Domain Name System(DNS):

A Domain name system is a naming system that is used for all resources connected to the internet. It changes the IP address to a human-readable name called Domain name. The computer uses a DNS server to identify the domain and redirects it to the correct IP address.

Simple Mail Transport Protocol(SMTP):

SMTP performs in the application layer and is responsible for sending and receiving mails across the internet. Whenever we send an email it is sent to the SMTP server by a TCP connection and then the SMTP initiates the connection to the port. Only the client initiates the request and the SMTP server responds to it. 

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