Different Types of Computer Protocols

In today’s world, there are number of people communicating the number of different languages they use, the number of different machines they use, the number of ways in which they transmit data and the different software they use.

We would never be able to communicate worldwide if there were no ‘standards’ governing the way we communicate and the way our machines treat data. These standards are sets of rules.

There are rules governing how data is transferred over networks, how they are compressed, how they are presented on the screen and so on. These set of rules are called protocols. There are many protocols, each one governing the way a certain technology works. For example, the IP protocol defines a set of rules governing the way computers use IP packets to send data over the Internet or any other IP-based network. It also defines addressing in IP. Likewise, we have other protocols like:

TCP: Transmission Control Protocol, used for the reliable transmission of data over a network.

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, used for transmitting and displaying information in the form of web pages on browsers.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol, used for file transfer (uploading and downloading) over the Internet.

POP: The most common protocol for receiving mail is Post Office Protocol (POP). It is now in version 3 so it is called POP3. Email clients such as Outlook Express require an address for a POP3 server before they can read mail. The SMTP and POP3 servers may or may not be the same address

SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, used for email
Both SMTP and POP3 use TCP for managing the transmission and delivery of mail across the Internet.

Ethernet: Used for data transmission over a LAN.

Wi-Fi: One of the wireless protocols.

IP: Internet Protocol is the primary network protocol used on the Internet, developed in the 1970s. On the Internet and many other networks, IP is often used together with the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) and referred to interchangeably as

TCP/IP: IP supports unique addressing for computers on a network. Most networks use the Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) standards that features IP addresses four bytes (32 bits) in length. The newer Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) standard features addresses 16 bytes (128 bits) in length.

Data on an Internet Protocol network is organized into packets. Each IP packet includes both a header (that specifies source, destination, and other information about the data) and the message data itself.IP functions at layer 3 of the OSI model. It can therefore run on top of different data link interfaces including Ethernet and Wi-Fi.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) lives up to its name and provides a method for copying files over a network from one computer to another. More generally, it provides for some simple file management on the contents of a remote computer. It is an old protocol and is used less than it was before the Word Wide Web came along. Today, its primary use is uploading files to a Web site. It can also be used for downloading from the Web but, more often than not, downloading is done via HTTP.