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Computer networks are akin to vast ecosystems. The largest computer network in existence, the Internet, has more than 5.3 billion active users as of 2023 and will have around 29 billion connected devices by 2030. PCs, laptops, smartphones, mainframes, supercomputers, servers, tablets – a plethora of devices are running numerous system & user applications, nearly all of them distinct from the other. Different systems with different configurations and interfaces HAVE TO WORK in tandem to keep the Internet and, logically, any kind of network operational for optimal data transmission. And, it is not just different devices but myriad types of networks (Ethernet, Wifi, Fibre Optics, DSL, etc.) that connect to form larger networks at scale with better capabilities.

So, what keeps all on the same page? How do diverse computing systems, devices, and networks work together to exchange information seamlessly? Well, it is the network protocols that keep them all in line.

Find out the different network protocols that keep the Internet and every computer network running with this article from your friendly, neighbourhood computer network assignment help experts.

What are Network Protocols?

Networking protocols are sets of rules that govern data transmission across a network. They determine data transfer rates, transmission routes, system port numbers, and every other detail that enables two web nodes to communicate seamlessly.

Any network can be the sum of many parts. Two standard reference models exist for analysing any computer network, namely, the Open Systems Interconnection and the TCP/IP model. Both these models define a computer network using a layered architecture.

Each of these layers serves as a crucial cog in the system. Layers interact with both preceding & succeeding layers, & the different protocols at each layer allow specific operations to run without any hitches.  

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Let’s mull over the most critical networking protocols of them all and the role they play in enabling successful data transmission.

The Most Critical Network Protocols & Their Roles


This is the IEEE 802.3 protocol for designing and maintaining local area networks. It operates at the physical layer as well as at the data link layer for ensuring media access control.

Internet Protocol (IP)

This is probably the most well-known protocol of them all. It fragments transmitted data into packets for secure & smooth delivery across the network.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

This protocol works with IP to ensure absolute synchronicity between a source and a destination. It enables systems to send and receive data without any error and also aids in recovery.

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)

This one works with IP to diagnose network connectivity and sends error messages in case of any problem. Routers mainly use ICMP.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

ARP is the protocol that maps the physical addresses of a node with their IP addresses. It is used to convert addresses of the network layer to data link layer addresses.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

This protocol is the foundation of the Internet. HTTP is an application layer protocol that allows applications on different systems to communicate across a network.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

Using a password, DHCP enables modern computers and smartphones to connect instantly with any network. DHCP assigns IP addresses, subnet masks, default gateway & domain naming server addresses, and all other configuration parameters.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

This protocol is used by TCP/IP to transfer files safely & swiftly across a network. It takes care of all factors, such as different file conventions, different directories, varying data representations, etc.

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

BGP is akin to the postal service of the Internet. It looks for all the different paths data may take to its destination. It operates at the application layer and is used by a network administrating system to inform which IP addresses they control.

Open Shortest Path First Protocol (OSPFP)

As the name suggests, this protocol determines the most efficient routes for a data packet to reach its destination fastest. Routers use the OSPF protocol to find the best route.

Router Information Protocol (RIP)

This is a distance vector resolution protocol routers use to update the routing tables of all their neighbours.

Well, that’s all the space we have for this article. Here’s hoping this write-up refreshed your ideas about networking protocols. Study minutely to score well in your assignments, and if necessary, look for professional aid from computer science & network assignment help services.

All the best!

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Network protocols play a vital and indispensable role in facilitating vast amounts of data communication around the world. Network protocols are an essential part of any computer communication system and can be thought of as the ‘language’ used to communicate between computers and networks. Without the right network protocols in place, the lack of commonality would make data transmission impossible.

Data transmission is a process in which digital data is transmitted between two or more systems. This data includes information such as messages, files, images, documents, multimedia, etc. Network protocols are essential for successful data transmission as they govern the rules of communication between the different devices.

Network protocols determine the format that the data needs to be sent in, as well as the transport mechanism and the addressing scheme under which the data will be transmitted. In order for successful data transmission, it must be assured that both the sender and the receiver can interpret the data. This is only possible if both of them use the same network protocol.

The network protocols for data transmission can be divided into three basic groups: connection-oriented, connectionless, and multicast. Connection-oriented protocols include protocols such as the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) and Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP), which require the sender and receiver to establish a connection before data is sent. Connectionless protocols, such as the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP), do not require a connection and rely on a best-effort delivery system. The final type of protocol is multicast, where a single source transmits data to multiple destinations, such as IP Multicast.

Each protocol has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is vital to choose the right protocol for each type of data transmission. Protocols such as TCP are reliable, reliable and provide end-to-end error correction, but can be inefficient for transferring small chunks of data. Protocols such as UDP can be faster, but there is no guarantee that data will be received from end to end. Network protocols also dictate things such as the size of the packets of data that can be sent, and the maximum size of a transmission.

Network protocols are the vital and irreplaceable language that enable the immense flow of data around the globe today. Without them, data transmission would be impossible. Understanding the different protocols and knowing which one to use for different types of data transmission is a key skill in network engineering, and is crucial for successful data transmission.

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