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What Are Network Protocols?

What Are Network Protocols?

A set of rules and formatting is set for processing data in networking to ensure that information is transmitted from one device to another without any issue. This set of rules is a network protocol that helps smooth data transmission. This article will discuss some of its types, examples, and uses. With these, you can easily understand what is a network protocol and how these network protocols work.

What is A Network Protocol

The existence of the Internet was not possible without network protocols because these protocols play a vital role in building communication between two or more electronic devices. Network protocols work the same as simple language, which helps build communication between two people. These protocols are pre-built into the device’s software and hardware, making communication easier.

Furthermore, it is impossible to build communication between two or more electronic devices without these network protocols. Due to this, network protocols benefit different industries, which require smooth communication between the devices to help their employees convey information to each other.

Who Uses Network Protocols?

Network protocols are used by a wide array of entities and devices across various sectors, facilitating communication and data exchange over networks. Here’s a brief overview of who uses network protocols:

  1. Internet Users: Anyone browsing the web, sending emails, streaming videos, or engaging in online chats uses network protocols. Protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, and IMAP are integral to these activities.
  2. Businesses and Organizations: For internal communications, data transfer, and to provide online services to customers, businesses rely on network protocols. They use protocols like FTP for file transfers, SMTP for sending emails, and SIP for voice communication.
  3. Telecommunications Companies: These entities use network protocols to provide internet, telephone, and cable television services. Protocols like SIP, RTP, and various mobile communication standards are fundamental to their operations.
  4. Data Centers and Cloud Service Providers: To manage and transfer vast amounts of data efficiently, data centers and cloud providers utilize protocols such as iSCSI for storage networking and TCP/IP for general internet connectivity.
  5. IoT Device Manufacturers and Users: IoT devices communicate with each other and with central servers using protocols like MQTT and CoAP, designed for low-power, low-bandwidth environments.
  6. Network Administrators and IT Professionals: These experts implement and manage network protocols to ensure secure, efficient network operations within organizations. They deal with protocols across all layers of the OSI model.
  7. Software Developers: Developers use application-level protocols to build networked applications. For example, they might use WebSockets for real-time web applications or RESTful APIs over HTTP for web services.
  8. Government Agencies: For secure communication, and data sharing, and to provide public services online, government agencies rely on network protocols. Secure versions of protocols, like HTTPS and SFTP, are crucial here.
  9. Educational Institutions: Schools, universities, and research institutions use network protocols for digital learning platforms, and campus networks, and to facilitate research collaboration.
  10. Home Networks: In a more domestic setting, protocols like Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) and various home automation protocols enable connectivity and communication among devices like computers, smartphones, smart TVs, and smart home devices.

How Do Network Protocols Work?

To understand how network protocols work, you will need to understand the communication process between connected devices in a network. This is because the Open System Interface (OSI) is the best demonstration of how network protocols work. OSI has seven layers, each receiving a task when network protocols break large process intro discrete.

The functions and tasks of every layer are set, and following these, one or more protocols operate at every layer to enable network communication. To understand how the layers of OSI work, you will need to check the details below:

1. Physical Layer

The first layer of OSI ensures the physical connection between two network devices and facilitates data transmission in bits. At this point, data transmission happens from a simple or duplex modem. In addition to this, it also manages many other things, including bit rate, voltage, wireless technology, and much more.

2. Data Link Layer

The data link layer ensures that information reaches the destination from the source without any issues. It gives each frame a start and stop flag by combining datagrams into frames. Furthermore, it also fixes issues that can occur due to broken or duplicate frames.

3. Network Layer

Network Layer performs two different functions, which help in data transmission. According to the first function, segments are split into network packets and then put back together at the receiver’s end. Following this, the second function is responsible for ensuring the transmission of packets across the physical network.

4. Transport Layer

With the help of the transport layer, services can easily transfer from the network layer to the application layer. Here, data is split into data frames at the network segment level for checking errors. In short, this layer ensures that the receiver gets the complete message without error.

5. Session Layer

The session layer helps to build a connection between two workstations. Furthermore, this layer also ensures that the connection is secure and well-established. Once the communication is successful, then this layer closes the respective session of communication.

6. Presentation Layer

The main job of this layer is to retrieve data from the application layer and arrange it in proper syntax and semantics for transmitting it over the network. Moreover, it also ensures the file is secure and defines how connected devices need to encrypt data for safe transmission to the receiver.

7. Application Layer

The application layer is the final and top layer of the network that end users can access. At this layer, applications send and receive data such as emails, remote login, data entry, and much more. This is only done at the layer because protocols allow this.

network communication protocol

What Are the Types of Network Protocols?

Now that we have understood how network protocols work, it’s time to look into the network protocols list. There are three types of network protocols which you can see below.

1. Network Communication Protocol

Network communication protocol helps in building a smooth working process for computers that are present in a network. Computer networks can’t exist without these protocols. These protocols also handle the error detection and authentication of devices to ensure that there are no fake users.

Moreover, many telecommunication and computing systems use this protocol to exchange messages between their connected devices. Furthermore, formats and rules for data transferring are also described by this protocol.

2. Network Management Protocol

Network management protocols are very helpful in monitoring, managing, and maintaining computer networks. It also helps to define the policies and procedures to help in building stable communication between the connected devices. Furthermore, with the help of these protocols, network managers can quickly identify errors in the communication channel between the host and clients’ devices.

Various devices on the network follow the management protocol policies. This includes servers, routers, and computers. In addition, network managers can also check the host connection’s status with these protocols. Moreover, SNMP and ICMP are the most common network protocols for network management.

3. Network Security Protocol

Building connections between two devices is essential for transmitting data, but ensuring its safety is important. Therefore, at this point, the network security protocol comes in to help the network managers build secure communication networks. This protocol ensures that no unauthorized user or device gets a chance to extract data from the network in illegitimate ways.

Encryption and cryptography are one of the best methods for different protocols to ensure data security. With the help of these methods, only specific algorithms and logical keys can access the data. SSL and HTTPS are one of the most popular network protocols for building network security.

Examples of Network Protocols Uses

The modern Internet exists due to the network protocols that help different computers worldwide communicate with each other without any error. Due to these protocols, the users cannot see and know what background operations are occurring, which provides them with smooth data access from all over the world. Therefore, to see some examples of these network protocols, take a look below:


HTTP plays a key role in encoding data transmission between the web server and the client web browser. The development of this protocol is alongside HTML because HTML deals with web page creation, while HTTP deals with making it secure for use.

2. TCP

TCP stands for transmission control protocol, which is beneficial in building network communication. It transfers data over the network by splitting it into data packets. This protocol is mainly used in client-server models, with other protocols to enable internet connectivity.

3. UDP

For small-size data transmission, User Datagram Protocol is used. This protocol is very helpful for managing the data of video games and video conferences. In addition, packets of data in UDP transfer from one device to another as UDP-IP for establishing stable communication.

4. DNS

A domain name system is a database that records the website’s IP address and domain name. This is because devices access different data or websites with the help of IP addresses, while the common man uses the domain name to access the respective data. It also helps users to access information quickly without any complications.

5. FTP

File transfer protocol is a less popular protocol as compared to other file-sharing network protocols. Banking systems mainly use this protocol to provide data to their clients. It deals with the exchange of files between the host and client-server.


One of the most well-known email protocols is SMTP which is a part of the TCP/IP suite. This protocol deals with the transmission of emails from clients to the receiver. Some other protocols are also required by SMTP to ensure that email transmission is successful without any issues.

Enhancing Connectivity: Integrating Network Protocols with ZEGOCLOUD

In the end, if you are trying to use these protocols to develop some amazing apps, you can use ZEGOCLOUD for this purpose. With the help of their video chat API or voice chat API, you can add the network protocols in your applications to establish a smooth communication platform.

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Moreover, this API/SDK provider has a lot of different exceptional services that you can use as per your requirements. Using this provider, you can easily copy and paste the codes of network protocols into your applications which will allow them to perform specific functions. Sign up for ZEGOCLOUD to get 10,000 free minutes now!

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