A network protocol includes all the rules and conventions for communication between network devices, including ways devices can identify and make connections with each other.

There are also formatting rules that specify how data is packaged into sent and received messages. Without protocols, devices would lack the ability to understand the electronic signals they send to each other over network connections. Hundreds of different computer network protocols have been developed, each designed for specific purposes and environments.

The Internet Protocol IP family contains a set of related and widely used network protocols. In general, higher-level protocols in the IP family interact more closely with applications such as web browsers, while lower-level protocols interact with network adapters and other computer hardware. Network protocols designed for use on wireless networks must support roaming mobile devices and deal with issues such as variable data rates and network security.

Routing protocols are special-purpose protocols designed specifically for use by network routers on the internet. Modern operating systems contain built-in software services that implement support for some network protocols. Applications like web browsers contain software libraries that support the high-level protocols necessary for that application to function.

Each packet transmitted and received over a network contains binary data ones and zeros that encode the contents of each message. Each network protocol can to identify messages of its own kind and process the headers and footers as part of moving data among devices. A group of network protocols that work together at higher and lower levels is often called a protocol family.

Students of networking traditionally learn about the OSI model that conceptually organizes network protocol families into specific layers for teaching purposes.

Tweet Share Email. More from Lifewire.Protocolin computer sciencea set of rules or procedures for transmitting data between electronic devices, such as computers. In order for computers to exchange information, there must be a preexisting agreement as to how the information will be structured and how each side will send and receive it.

Without a protocola transmitting computer, for example, could be sending its data in 8- bit packets while the receiving computer might expect the data in bit packets. Protocols are established by international or industrywide organizations.

Perhaps the most important computer protocol is OSI Open Systems Interconnectiona set of guidelines for implementing networking communications between computers. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Protocol computer science.

See Article History. This article was most recently revised and updated by Erik GregersenSenior Editor. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Network protocols also include flow control, which…. Bitin communication and information theory, a unit of information equivalent to the result of a choice between only two possible alternatives, as between 1 and 0 in the binary number system generally used in digital computers. Vinton Cerf, American computer scientist who is considered one of the founders, along with Robert Kahn, of the Internet.

In both Cerf and Kahn won the A. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.

More About. Florida Center for Instructional Technology - Protocol.To save this word, you'll need to log in. In some instances, it consisted of a flyleaf that was glued to the outside of a manuscript's case and provided a description of its contents. In its earliest uses in the 15th century, the word referred to a prologue or preface and also to a record of a document or transaction.

In the late 19th century, it began to be used in reference to the etiquette observed by the Head of State of France in ceremonies and relations with other dignitaries.

This sense has since extended in meaning to cover any code of proper conduct.

What Are Network Protocols?

Examples of protocol in a Sentence Typically, those who make pronouncements like this assume without saying so that the tongues making up the multitude will belong to persons who are committed to the protocols of rational inquiry; frivolous persons, persons who exploit those protocols or play with them to gain political ends, are not imagined.

They did not follow the proper diplomatic protocols. What is the proper protocol for declining a job offer? Send us feedback. Sign Up Dictionary Entries near protocol Protococcales protococcoid Protococcus protocol protocolar Protocoleoptera protocolist.

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Keep scrolling for more More Definitions for protocol protocol. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. What does capricious mean? Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! We have a hard decision to make.

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Login or Register. Save Word. Log In. Definition of protocol. Keep scrolling for more. Recent Examples on the Web Cardi B, Chrissy Teigen and others have taken to social media to encourage their followers to follow protocols.

First Known Use of protocolin the meaning defined at sense 1.Network protocols are sets of established rules that dictate how to format, transmit and receive data so computer network devices -- from servers and routers to endpoints -- can communicate regardless of the differences in their underlying infrastructures, designs or standards.

Communication protocol

To successfully send and receive information, devices on both sides of a communication exchange must accept and follow protocol conventions.

Support for network protocols can be built into software, hardware or both. Standardized network protocols provide a common language for network devices. Without them, computers wouldn't know how to engage with each other. As a result, except for specialty networks built around a specific architecture, few networks would be able to function, and the internet as we know it wouldn't exist.

Virtually all network end users rely on network protocols for connectivity. Network protocols break larger processes into discrete, narrowly defined functions and tasks across every level of the network. In the standard model, known as the Open Systems Interconnection OSI model, one or more network protocols govern activities at each layer in the telecommunication exchange.

A set of cooperating network protocols is called a protocol suite. These include:. Every packet transmitted and received over a network contains binary data. Most protocols will add a header at the beginning of each packed in order to store information about the sender and the message's intended destination.

network protocols

Some protocols may also include a footer at the end with additional information. Network protocols process these headers and footers as part of the data moving among devices in order to identify messages of their own kind.

Network protocols are often set forth in an industry standard -- developed, defined and published by groups such as:. Falling into these three broad categories are thousands of network protocols that uniformly handle an extensive variety of defined tasks, including authenticationautomationcorrection, compressionerror handlingfile retrieval, file transferlink aggregationrouting, semanticssynchronization and syntax. In order for network protocols to work, they must be coded within software, either a part of the computer's operating system OS or as an application, or implemented within the computer's hardware.

Most modern operating systems possess built-in software services that are prepared to implement some network protocols.

Other applications, such as web browsersare designed with software libraries that support whatever protocols are necessary for the application to function.In telecommunicationa communication protocol is a system of rules that allow two or more entities of a communications system to transmit information via any kind of variation of a physical quantity.


The protocol defines the rules, syntaxsemantics and synchronization of communication and possible error recovery methods. Protocols may be implemented by hardwaresoftwareor a combination of both.


Communicating systems use well-defined formats for exchanging various messages. Each message has an exact meaning intended to elicit a response from a range of possible responses pre-determined for that particular situation. The specified behavior is typically independent of how it is to be implemented. Communication protocols have to be agreed upon by the parties involved.

A programming language describes the same for computations, so there is a close analogy between protocols and programming languages: protocols are to communication what programming languages are to computations. Multiple protocols often describe different aspects of a single communication. A group of protocols designed to work together is known as a protocol suite; when implemented in software they are a protocol stack. Networking research in the early s by Robert E.

TCP software was redesigned as a modular protocol stack. Later international work led to the OSI modelpublished in For a period in the late s and early s, engineers, organizations and nations became polarized over the issue of which standardthe OSI model or the Internet protocol suite, would result in the best and most robust computer networks. The information exchanged between devices through a network or other media is governed by rules and conventions that can be set out in communication protocol specifications.

The nature of communication, the actual data exchanged and any state -dependent behaviors, is defined by these specifications. In digital computing systems, the rules can be expressed by algorithms and data structures. Protocols are to communication what algorithms or programming languages are to computations.

Operating systems usually contain a set of cooperating processes that manipulate shared data to communicate with each other. This communication is governed by well-understood protocols, which can be embedded in the process code itself. Transmission is not necessarily reliable, and individual systems may use different hardware or operating systems. To implement a networking protocol, the protocol software modules are interfaced with a framework implemented on the machine's operating system.

This framework implements the networking functionality of the operating system. At the time the Internet was developed, abstraction layering had proven to be a successful design approach for both compiler and operating system design and, given the similarities between programming languages and communication protocols, the originally monolithic networking programs were decomposed into cooperating protocols.

Systems typically do not use a single protocol to handle a transmission. Instead they use a set of cooperating protocols, sometimes called a protocol suite.Some call this HIV anxiety ignorant, and argue that protocols on both sides of the industry are efficient in their own ways.

As long as you exercise basic sanitation and cleanliness sort of protocols … I think the risk is relatively low. The so-called refutation of the Protocols which appeared in the Times of Augusttends to confirm this opinion. The Protocols were then declared by Mr. Wolf and his friends to have been completely and finally refuted. The protocols of the court are to be kept in the Kahal chamber near the synagogue. According to the Protocolsall this is engineered with the aid and through the instrumentality of the Freemasons.

First of all, then, what do we actually know about the origin of these protocols? Agreed-upon standards and practices in technology particularly information technology that allow systems manufactured by many different companies to be compatible with each other and work within common larger systems.

Protocols are established by industry trade groups, governments, or some combination thereof. Advertisement top definitions quizzes related content examples explore dictionary british medical scientific cultural protocol. Also called protocol statement, protocol sentence, protocol proposition. Take this quiz on the Words of the Day from April 6—12 to find out! See proto-colloid. The protocol was the equivalent of the modern copyright page and table of contents, bearing official authentication, date of manufacture, author, and contents.

Words nearby protocol proto-oncogeneprotoactiniumprotoavisprotocalprotochordateprotocolprotocolsprotocontinentprotoctistprotoctistaprotodeacon. Words related to protocols pactcovenantcodeagreementcontractcustomobligationcompactetiquettepolitessedecorummannerstreatyproprietycourtesyorderformalitiesconcordat. Risky Business or None of Your Business? The History of a Lie Herman Bernstein. The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

A set of standardized procedures for transmitting or storing data, especially those used in regulating data transmission between computers or peripherals. All rights reserved.Related to protocol: Network protocolInternet Protocol.

The forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state. A code of correct conduct: safety protocols; academic protocol. The first copy of a treaty or other such document before its ratification. The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment. Computers A standard procedure for regulating data transmission between computers. Philosophy philosophy a statement that is immediately verifiable by experience. In full: protocol statement See logical positivism.

Computer Science computing the set form in which data must be presented for handling by a particular computer configuration, esp in the transmission of information between different computer systems.


See proto - colloid ]. A standard procedure for regulating data transmission between computers. Switch to new thesaurus. HTTPhypertext transfer protocol - a protocol utilizing TCP to transfer hypertext requests and information between servers and browsers. TCPtransmission control protocol - a protocol developed for the internet to get data from one network device to another; "TCP uses a retransmission strategy to insure that data will not be lost in transmission".

Strict observance of social conventions: ceremoniousnessceremonyformalitypunctiliousness. Mentioned in? References in classic literature? The flower once being seen by the President, and the protocol being drawn up, all is in order; you will only keep a duplicate of the protocoland intrust the tulip to him. View in context. Protocol officers active in ministers. Mozilla Firefox now supports TLS 1. According to media reports the administration provided Imran Khan PM protocol when he reached from Banni Gala to hotel to attend parliamentary party meeting Monday.

Imran expresses annoyance over providing him PM protocol. The move sparked widespread speculation that other wirehouses, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo, would soon withdraw, effectively ending the protocol agreement.

The Skinny on the Broker Recruiting Protocol. Protocol Reverse Engineering is the process in which protocol parameters, formats, and semantics are inferred in the absence of formal specifications [1]. Key Words: Nurse-driven protocolindwelling urinary catheter, nurses' perceptions, catheter associated urinary tract infections.

Evaluation of a nurse-driven protocol to remove urinary catheters: nurses' perceptions. The amendments to the protocol introduce further controls over the production of chlorofluorocarbon among state parties of the Montreal Protocol. Parliament of Kazakhstan approves amendments to Montreal Protocol. Dictionary browser?

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