Friday, 13 April 2012

Basic Concepts of Computer Networks : Protocol

Protocols provide the rules on how computers communicate. They define how devices intercommunicate in a network environment.

Before protocols were developed, intercommunication between devices was not possible. Protocols are important as they define how devices, applications or computers communicate in a network.
When two computers on a network perform a single exchange of data or information, they will be busy looking for the best communication process between them.
For example, there will be a protocol to specify the format that the information bits or packets must contain when travelling across this connection.
There are also protocols that are responsible for ensuring that the information bits or data packets are sent or received in a proper sequence.
All these protocols work together as a group to prepare and process data for an exchange of information over a network. We call such a group a protocol stack or a protocol suite.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
This protocol is used to access, send and receive Hypertext Markup Language files (HTML) files on the Internet.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
This protocol is used for transferring e-mail between computers.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
FTP is responsible for allowing files to be copied between devices.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
This protocol ensures the delivery of information packets across network.

Internet Protocol (IP) – This important protocol is responsible for providing logical addressing called IP address to route information between networks.


TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) is the internet communication protocol. It is a standard that sets the rules computers must follow in communicating with each other on a network. Some refer TCP/IP as the Internet Protocol Suite.

When you use any applications or programs to access the Internet, these application will use TCP/IP to achieve the task. For example, when you want to surf a network, you will use the internet browser. Your browser then uses TCP/IP to request services from Internet servers. These servers will use TCP/IP
to send the web pages you requested back to your browser.


TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is the protocol that sets the communication rules between computers. Here, TCP establishes connection between two computers, protects against data loss and data corruption.

TCP is responsible for breaking the data into packets before they are sent. TCP then assembles the packets when they reach a destination.


IP (Internet Protocol) is the protocol that transfers data from node to node. Here, IP takes care of delivering data packets between two computers. IP is responsible for sending the packets from sender to receiver.

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