Network protocol - what is it? Basic network protocols

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Network protocol - what is it? Basic network protocols
Network protocol - what is it? Basic network protocols

Not so long ago, organizing local networks required the use of the correct protocol. This choice had an impact on what types of computers can be connected to it. Today this problem has almost disappeared. Modern TCP IP network protocols have replaced everything that existed before. This is a universal solution that can be used on any operating system.

network protocol
network protocol


A network protocol is an established language in which programs communicate. Data transfer is the movement of some stream of bits along the cable. In order for it to reach the target computer and be represented in it as data, a certain set of rules is required. They are written in the standard protocols. They are usually said to have a nesting level. What does it mean? There is a physical layer, which is a list of definitions, for example, what a network cable can be, the thickness of its cores, and other parameters. Let's say we are talking about a working cable. Then the data packets will bego on it. But which computer will receive them? Here, the link layer is included in the work, while the physical address of each machine is indicated in the packet header - a certain number sewn into the network card. It is called the MAC address.

The network protocol is
The network protocol is

Network hierarchy

The link layer is the same as Ethernet. A package contains a set of specific parameters that define its type. The data is directly dependent on this type, and its content belongs to the network layer. There are two most common protocols: ARP, which is responsible for converting IP addresses to MAC, and the IP protocol itself. You can give the structure of the IP packet. All data that is transferred with its help is already sent to a specific network address. The packet contains a number in a fixed format indicating the type of protocol.

The two most common are TCP and UDP. There is a certain difference between them, consisting in the fact that the first is characterized by the maximum degree of reliability, because when sending a packet, it constantly sends a request for its receipt. The second network protocol is a handy tool, for example, when listening to Internet radio. This assumes that packets are sent without any verification that they have been received. If he reached you, then you can listen to the radio, and if not, then there is no point in checking and controlling.

Network layer protocols
Network layer protocols

Features of package delivery

The package must specify the port number where it is sent. Usually this settingdetermined by the type of protocol at the application layer - depending on the application to which the information is sent. You can also use non-standard ports of services, no one forbids this. The most famous network protocols in this case are HTTP and POP3. Gets the defined package nesting hierarchy. An Ethernet packet contains IP, then TCP or UDP, and then application-specific data.

IP network protocol
IP network protocol

Distinguishing Features

The network protocol, unlike data transfer protocols, is not tied to specific equipment. They are implemented at the software level, so they can be installed and removed at any time.


This network protocol is used not only on the Internet, but also within the operating system itself. It represents the transport and network layer, due to which data is transmitted in blocks. For a very long time it was used only in UNIX networks, and now that the Internet has grown quite rapidly, the IP network protocol has become used in almost every type of local computer network. It currently serves as the underlying protocol for most of the services running on operating systems.

Local and switched networks

Older network protocols required some specific knowledge, and TCP/IP is used by users who have never even seen network cards. Access to the Internet using a modem or local network is provided under the conditionusing the same protocol. And the process of setting it up completely depends on the type of connection used in this case. It is worth noting that the network layer protocols are different from all the others, and the parameters for accessing the local network or using a modem also have certain nuances. A dial-up connection is best set up using an automatic configuration program that is supplied by the provider itself. Otherwise, you must manually enter all the necessary parameters. You can consider the main network protocols.

Basic network protocols
Basic network protocols

IPX protocol

This kit was developed by Novell for use with its own NetWare operating system. IPX is partially similar to TCP / IP, that is, it includes some of the protocols from this package, but the company has copyrighted it. However, Microsoft has created its own protocol compatible with this, designed for operating systems from the Windows family. IPX is a network protocol that is similar in functionality to IP. SPX is a transport layer tool that is designed to allow packet data to be exchanged between individual machines.

Currently, this protocol is only used on networks with servers running older versions of the NetWare operating system. It is often used in conjunction with some other set of network protocols. Nowell has now fully migrated to the new universal TCP/IP protocol.

Network protocols TCP IP
Network protocols TCP IP


This networkThe protocol is used in small networks. It was first introduced with Windows NT 3.1 and several subsequent versions of that system, where it was used by default. In the latest versions of systems, TCP / IP, already known to us, took its place. This protocol is quite simple and lacks many of the features used in more advanced versions. It is not suitable for internet communication. It can be useful for a simple peer-to-peer network, but now it is not even presented as a standard OS component, you need to install it yourself from disk.

NetBEUI is a handy tool for creating a direct cable connection, and in that sense it is the minimum protocol required to form a peer-to-peer network in Windows 9x versions.


It is important to remember certain points. At the moment, there is no longer one network protocol. All of them are designed to communicate, but each of them has completely different tasks, there are advantages and disadvantages in comparison with the rest. The use of each of them implies the presence of certain operating conditions, which are usually prescribed by the protocol itself. When choosing one or another solution, you should rely on this parameter.

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