Home‎ > ‎Ebusiness‎ > ‎


A Protocol is a specific systematic means of transmitting information and data between computers across different networks. Through these means, computers can connect and transfer data and files to other computers. These protocols are programmed, and can be carried out by software and/or by hardware.

Why Protocols Are Important

In order for computers to communicate effectively with one another, a standardized method and language is necessary. If there were no standardized language, it would be much more difficult to send information, to retrieve information, to synchronize, and to make any kind of connections. This also applies to hardware. For example, when hardware, such as a mouse, is hooked up to a personal computer, a protocol is set in order for the mouse to be easily accessible when connected to the personal computer. This protocol should allow device connection to any personal computer, by using a recognizable language. Usually more than one protocol is programmed in carrying out duties, which are known as protocol stacks. These stacks are customarily layered, in which completing one programmed specific duty may ask for more than one protocol at the same time. These protocols are extremely important, for they allow the internet to exist. The internet relies on these computer networks to pass data between each other using these common protocols.

 Examples of General protocols

  • IP (Internet Protocol)
  • UDP (User Datagram Protocol)
  • TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
  • DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • Telnet (Telnet Remote Protocol)
  • SSH (Secure Shell Remote Protocol)
  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
  • SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
  • PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)

 The Most Notable Types of Protocols

The most common and important protocols are Internet Protocol (IP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). These two come hand in hand, where Internet Protocol is the means of communicating across a packet-switched internetwork and Transmission Control Protocol focuses on data transmitted. A packet-switched internetwork is an internetwork where data is grouped into bundles called “packets” and these packets are individually routed, which allows transmission to travel from one packet data to another, with limited delay, and without having to follow a specific communication path. Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) is the version most widely used, but Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is also up and coming into the global system. While IP focuses on computers communicating to each other, TCP focuses on each data packet, making sure the data received is in order and is accurate.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the paradigm that helps the World Wide Web with information exchange. When internet users make a “request” for information on the World Wide Web, this request is made through HTTP. This protocol is the language used for the user to go on to the computer, to try to access the server with the request.

Protocols and the OSI Model

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, which was developed as an OSI initiative by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) describes the network as consisting of seven layers. The first layer, which would be the foundation of all layers, is the Physical layer, with the Data-link layer, the Network layer, the Transport layer, the Session layer, the Presentation layer, and the Application layer as the last layer on top, each layer dependent on the ones below. Different protocols, based on their main functions, would fit under a different category under a different layer. For example, the Internet Protocol (IP) would be in the third layer, the Network layer, and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) would be in the fourth layer, or the Transport layer. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) would be located in the last layer, or the Application layer.




Related Websites:
Protocol (Computing) Wikipedia
What is Protocol?
What is TCP?
What is Internet Protocol?
Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) Wikipedia
IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6)

What is OSI?