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What are Network Protocols? – Definition, Characteristics, Types, and More
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What are Network Protocols? – Definition, Characteristics, Types, and More

Network Protocols Definition

The ability to exchange data packets is part of the routine of network protocols between computers.

Regulating the sending address, the path that data will travel, and the control of possible failures that occur in the process.

For communication between computers, they must be in the same line, that is, it must be connect to the same protocol.

However, as in everything, there are nuances.

Not all data connections are the same, and connecting two computers to the same home network is not the same as connecting a computer to the Internet to send data to multiple recipients.

In this sense, different network protocols have been developed over the years for each form of communication, differentiated by the following characteristics.

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Characteristics of Network Protocols

  1. Number of participants in the communication
  2. Data transmission mode
  3. Hierarchy of participants
  4. Communication synchronization
  5. Connection type

Types of Network Protocols

  • There are many, but we will talk about the most important and the most relevant ones from now on.
  • So that (somebody) must alter all Internet users’ day-to-day life must in the least.

Media Access Layer Protocols

  • ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) protocol, essential for the Internet and local networks’ operation.
  • The IP protocol creates MAC addresses that act to identify the network interfaces of connected devices.
  • We have talked about this protocol and the dangers of using it in this article about ARP spoofing.

Network layer protocols

  • Internet protocols (IP) are various rules that dictate how data transmits over the network and specify how connected devices should work based on addressing (that only a single IP uses in sending data) and routing (marking the path of data packets).
  • You have more information about IP spoofing as a security problem in this article.
  • On the other, we find the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), used by routers to send any error message or information related to the operations that occur in data exchange.
  • for example, if the requested service is not found available or that there is no way to locate the existence of the desired router

Transport layer protocols

  • Here we deal with two well-known protocols such as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
  • Through TCP, we have ensured that the sent data reaches its destination with complete confidence.
  • It ensures that data packets are not lost, exercises control over possible system saturations, and prevents copies of the sent data from being created.
  • Meanwhile, UDP is a less complete protocol for data transfer if data losses along the way.
  • The entire file will be corrupted by not receiving all its parts correctly and restart the transfer.
  • However, it helps multiplayer online games or video streaming sessions due to its execution speed, essential in this activity type.

Application layer protocols

  • In this category of protocols, we will talk about three that almost all of us surely know, at least by their initials (HTTP, DNS, and FTP).

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

  • Internet users know that it is responsible for the browsers installs on our computers requesting HTML files.
  • All the content users see as the final result (images, music, video, text, etc.).
  • This protocol is based on the TCP protocol to establish the client-server connection that allows the files to be download.
  • Our blog has an article about the difference between HTTP and HTTPS that may interest you.

Domain Name System (DNS)

  • DNS or the one in charge of turning a specific IP address into a web.
  • Domains use alphabetic characters, certainly much easier for the average user to remember by heart than a collection of aligned numbers.
  • In short, when you type in the address bar, what happens is that the DNS service receives that information to interpret it and allow you to view the web in your browser.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

  • Above all, this protocol transfers files from a local computer to a remote server with the same protocol activated.

Application protocols in the email

  • we will discuss three working methods with an email to receive and send messages in our inbox.
  • Firstly, we will mention the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), by which a person who wants to send an email establishes a TCP connection to the SMTP server to send the message through that connection.
  • If the operation is successful, it is possible to send the email.
  • Secondly, we put the Post-Office Protocol Version 3 (POP3) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) protocols in the same order, given that although they are aggressive in their operation.
  • We once published this article in this blog with the We saw how each one of them works, its main advantages and disadvantages.
  • We made a small final summary of which one we think is more enjoyable to use on a day-to-day basis.
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