What is Computer Protocol? 7 Types, Examples & Properties

We explain what a computer protocol is, its properties, and some examples. Also, what is a network and Internet protocol?

What is a computer protocol?

In computer science and telecommunications, we are talking about a protocol that refers to a system of norms that regulate communication between two or more systems that transmit information through various physical means.

A network protocol is an established set of rules that determine how data is transmitted between different devices in the same network. Essentially, it allows connected devices to communicate with each other, regardless of any differences in their internal processes, structure, or design.
There are three main types of network protocols. These include network management protocols, network communication protocols, and network security protocols: Communication protocols include basic data communication tools like TCP/IP and HTTP.

In other words, the protocols are languages ​​or codes of communication between computer systems, defined based on syntax, semantics, and synchronization, as well as error recovery methods.

It is up to the protocols, then, to make two or more computer systems able to communicate in an efficient and orderly manner, that is, to speak the same language. These languages ​​are implemented through hardware or software, or combinations of both, and give each participant in the communication an identity and a specific method of information processing.

These protocols can vary greatly and be more or less sophisticated, such as secret codes. However, they usually have at least one of the following properties:

  • Underlying physical connection detection.
  • Negotiation of connection characteristics.
  • Error correction policy.
  • Establishment of the connection and its term.
  • What to do in case of a sudden loss of connectivity.
  • Security or encryption strategies.
  • Message format

Examples of computer protocol

What is Computer Protocol? 7 Types, Examples & Properties
A DNS allows you to connect your URL to a specific route.

Some examples of the protocol in the computer field are:

  • FTP ( File Transfer  Protocol ). One of the many protocols used to upload or download files at high speeds through a computer network, privileges effectiveness over security.
  • DNS ( Domain Name Service ). A naming protocol for Internet web pages, which allows you to connect your URL to the specific path where the resources and information to be displayed are located.  
  • HTTP ( HyperText  Transfer  Protocol ). Also commonly used on the Internet, it serves to establish hypertexts or information breaks between one page and another, being also a programming language that allows the design of the pages themselves.
  • POP ( Post Office  Protocol ). Specific to email services, it allows retrieving messages stored on a remote server (POP Server), especially on intermittent or very slow connections.

Network protocol

What is Computer Protocol? 7 Types, Examples & Properties
Network protocols are used for communication through computer networks.

The network protocols are specially designed for communication through computer networks, which operate by fragmenting the information sent in small parts, rather than all at once. The parts are easy and fast to transmit, but stored in the order indicated to preserve the meaning and operate together.

These protocols also operate based on different layers, which allow for establishing adequate routes to deliver the information to its destination even if there are no direct connections between the sender and the receiver. For this, these layers are handled independently, in two large piles: the one belonging to the transport and the one belonging to the link.

Internet protocol

What is Computer Protocol? 7 Types, Examples & PropertiesAn Internet protocol is oriented to bidirectional communication.

An Internet protocol (or IP,  Internet  Protocol ) is a type of communications protocol oriented to two-way communication (origin-destination) to transmit switched information packets, according to the OSI data link standard.

IPs try to route data packets through the best available route, considering how vast the Internet can be today.

The IP protocols do not guarantee the arrival of the packet at its destination, but the security of sending it, so it is considered a “best effort” datagram service, that is, without guarantees, so the packets can arrive damaged or in another order. In that sense, they are surpassed by the protocols TCP (Transmission Control Protocols).

There are already several versions of this protocol, listed as IPvX, the most current of which is IPv4, whose resource depletion already drives the creation and use of IPv6. Versions 0 through 3 were reserved and version 5 is experimental.

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