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Networking protocols

Updated on August 1, 2011

Networking protocols

Networking protocols are what allow PC's to talk with each other and transfer data effectively between each other, and other relevant computer equipment. Some of the network protocols, which are like the type of language you or i would use to communicate, are common to all operating systems while some of them are platform, and system dependent.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

The most common, and widely used protocol, which is the language of the internet is TCP/IP. This is actually a set of several protocols combined. TCP/IP is also used on most private networks as well as on the Internet. TCP/IP was built as a non-proprietary protocol. It is a completely routable protocol, which means it will find a way to its destination, even if one of the routes is broken, and as long as the destination is still valid. It is supported by all the major networks and desktop operating systems. TCP/IP is made up of the following smaller protocols:

Internet Protocol (IP)

IP is a connection less protocol which provides IP addressing information and routing functions.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

TCP is a connection oriented protocol that guarantees the delivery, the flow control, error detection, error correction and also packet sequencing.

User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

UDP is a connection-less transport protocol. However, It does not provide fully guaranteed delivery of the data.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is a client and server application that is used for file transfers between remotely connected computers.

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)

TFTP is used to transfer data between two remote computers. It much faster but also less reliable than FTP.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

SMTP is used to transport messages between remote email servers.

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

HTTP is the language of the internet pages, and sites that you read. It allows text, images, and multimedia.


HTTPS is the secure version of the HTTP protocol that gives an added secure connection with web servers and clients before the communication session starts.

Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3)

POP3 is used to download and retrieve any email messages from dedicated mail servers that are running the SMTP protocol.

Internet Message Access Protocol 4 (IMAP4)

IMAP4 is also used to securely retrieve email from mail servers.


Telnet is what allows the connections to remote hosts including network devices for administrative and maintenance.

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)

ICMP provides error checking and also reporting functions.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

ARP is a protocol used to resolve IP addresses to MAC addresses, which are the specific inbuilt hardware address of routers, and your network card.

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)

NNTP provides the newsgroup functions of the messages that you post on discussion forums.

Line Printer Remote (LPR)

LPR is what provides a client connection to printers on network operating systems including Unix, Linux, and Windows.

Internet Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX).

IPX/SPX is a complete protocol suite used in Novell NetWare networks. The IPX/SPX protocol suite is fully routable, however due to the popularity and extra features of the TCP/IP protocol, the usage of IPX/SPX has dropped massively Here are a list of the protocols that make up IPX..

Netware Core Protocol (NCP)

NCP allows client and server interactions including file and print sharing.

Service Advertising Protocol (SAP)

SAP is used by systems to highlight their services on the network such as file and print services

Internet Packet Exchange (IPX)

IPX provides network addressing and routing information and services.

Sequenced Packet Exchange (SPX)

SPX provides the connection oriented services on top of the actual IPX protocol.

Routing Information Protocol (RIP)

RIP is the default routing protocol for all IPX/SPX networks. RIP uses a distant Vector Routing Algorithm for building the routing table information.

NetWare Link State Protocol (NLSP)

NLSP provides routing services which are based on Link State Algorithm for the routes and building the routing tables.

Open Datalink Interface (ODI)

ODI provides the NetWare systems to work with any network interface card.


NetBEUI stands for NetBIOS Extended User Interface. NetBEUI is an old networking protocol, developed by Microsoft , and is used only really in small Windows based networks. The NetBEUI protocol uses a broadcast method of finding PC names, it creates a huge amount of network traffic, and it is not a routable protocol. This means it can't be used on large networks. It does have a plus side which is that its easy to install and one of the fastest of all protocols.


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