How do Common Networking Protocols Function

The functions of protocols are quite essential in the process of Networking. There are a number of protocols which exist and are used for various purposes. In fact, each of the protocol has been developed keeping in mind a particular situation or problem. Sometimes more than one protocols work together to achieve their task. However, just an overview of these protocols is not necessary to manage the process of networking. It is important that these protocols are known in depth and the user has an understanding of them. The use of protocols is quite essential in almost every layer of the OSI Model, especially from the Transport layer till the Application layer. It is an amalgamation of various protocols which function together to achieve the required tasks. Below, you will find a detailed description of the most important and widely used protocols which will enable you to get a better understanding of their functions and procedures.



TCP

TCP is also referred to as "Transmission Control Protocol". TCP is one of the most important protocols that function at the transport layer of the OSI Model. The primary task of TCP is to enable the smooth flow of data and its automatic recovery as well. It works on the principle of Three-way handshake and gathers all the required information before establishing a connection. It is a connection based protocol. After sending the data, TCP waits for approval from the destination. If there is any error in the data packets, the information is sent back to it and it recovers the data and sends it back. It makes sure that data reaches its destination without any error. This is why it is considered as one of the most important and reliable protocols.



FTP

FTP is the abbreviation of "File Transfer Protocol". It works at the Application Layer of the OSI Model. The basic purpose of FTP is to enable the transfer of files from remote hosts. It provides the facility to download and upload files on the remote server which is running FTP server software. Not only can you download files, you can also make changes, amendments and deletions if you have the required permissions. However, it needs to be kept in mind that the transfer of data by FTP is not secure enough. This is because data is not sent in an encrypted form and it is relatively easier for a hacker to gain access to the data and misuse it.



UDP

UDP is usually known as "User Datagram Protocol". It is involved in the Transport layer of the OSI Model. It is a connectionless protocol which enables the transfer of data over the network. However, UDP does not ensure that the data arrives at its destination perfectly without any error. Furthermore, even if there is any change or error in the data, it will not be detected. Hence, UDP is used in those situations where the security and perfection of data is not an issue, but the speed of transfer is important. For example during a video conversation over the internet, it does not matter if certain packet of data gets lost but the speed of data transfer is what really matters in this case.



TCP/IP suite

TCP/IP suite is a collection of different protocols which are being discusses right now. This means that it contains all of those protocols which are involved in all four layers of the TCP/IP Model. The variety of protocols provided by the TCP/IP protocol makes sure that there is a protocol available to serve every purpose and perform every task which might be required in any of the layers of TCP/IP Model.



DHCP

DHCP is the abbreviation of "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol". DHCP is a protocol which allows the server to allocate an IP Address to every client or computer on the network automatically. This means that whenever a computer joins a DHCP server, it will automatically be given an IP address. There is a lot more information which a DHCP server can provide to the client depending on the requirement of the situation. Nowadays, most of the devices are configured in a way that they automatically search for a DHCP server and asks it to allocate an IP address to it automatically.



TFTP

TFTP is the abbreviation of "Trivial File Transfer Protocol". It is associated with the Application layer and uses the connectionless UDP protocol. TFTP is quite similar to FTP, as its task also involves the transfer and downloading of files over a network. However, the main difference between these two is that TFTP does not allow you to search the directory to find the information. You need to know the exact address of the place where the information is stored. Furthermore, you also need to know the exact destination address where the data needs to be transferred. As it operates using UDP, this protocol is not secure enough for the transfer of files.

DNS

DNS is called "Domain Name System". DNS consists of a relational database which matches the names of different domains to their respective IP Addresses. This ensures that each of the IP Address on the network is given a particular name which is easily accessible. In addition to this, DNS also allocates names to different IP addresses, web sites etc. This allocation of names makes it easy to access a particular address with ease.



HTTPS

HTTPS is known as "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure". It is quite similar to HTTP. However it comes along with an extra feature of security as well. It works at the application layer and makes use of TCP protocol for the purpose of transfer of data. HTTPS is basically used for download files, media, text and various other forms from the server in a secure way. It makes use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to add an extra feature of security to the network. The data is transferred over the internet after being encrypted which makes sure that anyone who intercepts data cannot decipher it easily.



HTTP

HTTP is the abbreviation of "Hypertext Transfer Protocol". It allows you to download data from the internet as well as provides you the privilege to browse web pages on the internet. It comes into existence on the Application layer of the TCP/IP Model. You can access any web page on the World Wide Web by just entering the URL of that page. However, this method of accessing information over the internet is not secure enough as the data is not sent in an encrypted form.



ARP

ARP is the abbreviation of "Address Resolution Protocol". It comes into place at the Network layer of the OSI Model. Its main purpose is to match MAC Addresses of systems to their corresponding IP Addresses. It is essential to make sure that an IP address on a network has a corresponding MAC address as well. This is achieved by consulting the APR cache table which shows mappings between the IP addresses and MAC addresses on the network.



SIP (VoIP)

A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) operates on the application layer. The basic purpose of SIP is to establish communications over the internet. These communications might include video conferencing, online gaming or audio calls. It makes use of the idea of Voice over IP (VoIP) to achieve this purpose. It can create, modify and terminate these communication sessions. However, SIP also makes use of other transfer protocols such as TCP and UDP and does not operate entirely on its own.



RTP (VoIP)

RTP is referred to as the "Real-time Transfer Protocol". The basic purpose of this protocol is to transfer real-time data over a network. This real-time data might be audio or video which is being transferred instantly from one place to another. RTP makes use of UDP or TCP for the purpose of transfer of data. However, UDP is more often used in this case as the loss of data packets is not as issue of much concern and the speed of transfer is also fast with UDP. It also uses the concept of Voice over IP (VoIP) and sends data continuously over the network.



SSH

Secure Shell (SSH) operates on the Application layer of the TCP/IP Model. Its basic purpose is to allow the users to access data remotely from a server. The users have the privilege to log on to a computer remotely and perform a number of tasks such as the download, modification or deletion of data. Furthermore, the data is kept encrypted during the whole process which makes it more secure as well. It can be used to move data within networks as well as between various networks.



POP3

POP3 is known as the "Post Office Protocol". POP3 is an application layer protocol that allows the client to retrieve and download emails from server. Using POP3, it is quite simple to connect to the server to download emails. Once they have been downloaded, it is quite easy to read them offline as well. This protocol has been used in many email applications to serve their purpose.



NTP

NTP, the Network Time Protocol, is associated with the Application layer of the OSI Model. Its basic purpose stands to synchronize times between different computers on a network. Since some networks come with variable latency, it becomes essential to synchronize their clocks. Each system transfers the information regarding its time to other systems which enables them to remain synchronized.



IMAP4

Internet Message Access Protocol version 4 (IMAP4) enables you to retrieve and download emails form SMTP servers. It is quite similar to POP3. However, the main difference is that it allows the user to read the emails while they are on the server which makes it optional for the user to download the email. In addition to this, IMAP4 is much more secure as the user authentication information is encrypted while it is transferred over the network.



Telnet

Telnet is mainly used for the purpose of accessing servers remotely and then allowing the users to make changes to the information. A number of commands can be executed in this way. However, the main drawback of Telenet is that it is not secure enough as the data is not encrypted while it is transferred over the network.



SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is primarily used for the purpose of transmission of emails over the network. It comes into place during the Application layer of the OSI Model. Not only can it transfer emails within networks, it can also transfer emails between different networks.



SNMP2/3

SNMP2/3 is also known as the "Simple Network Management Protocol". The main purpose of this protocol is to manage and monitor different devices which are connected to a network. These devices might include routers, servers, printers, switches etc. It is generally used to make sure that all of these devices are working perfectly and there is no issue with them.



ICMP

ICMP is the abbreviation of "Internet Control Message Protocol". As the name says, the primary purpose of this protocol is to control the transfer of data over the network. In case there is any error during the transmission of data, ICMP will send messages reporting an error. It will also check for these errors and try to correct them. It is also used to send quench messages to a host to slow down the rate of sending messages to smooth the process.



IGMP

IGMP is generally known as the "Internet Group Management Protocol". The basic purpose of this protocol is to manage the multicast groups. It searches for all the devices on a network which are the members of the multicast group and also allows for the registration of the devices on this group. Furthermore, it can also be used for the transfer of data between groups.



TLS

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is basically a protocol which is used to add security to a conversation. Whenever there is a communication between the client and the server, TLS makes sure that the data is secure and no one is able to intercept it. It makes use of TCP protocol to make sure that the data is encrypted during the communication so that no one is able to decipher it expect the one which it is intended for.



All of these protocols hold a great deal of importance in the process of network. While some of them might have become obsolete, others are still being used effectively to serve their purpose. These protocols perform a good number of tasks on every layer. Each of them has been designed keeping a specific purpose in mind. It is important to note that the most important features while selecting protocols is their speed of transfer and the security they provide. This is the reason why a number of protocols are used together to provide the perfect package.


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