The Basics of Communication Protocol

Communication protocols are defined as a formal description for digital message formats as well as the rules that govern the exchange of information. These protocols are very important not just for their use in telecommunications but also in governing the exchange of messages in and between computer systems.

In its most general sense, the coverage of a communication protocol can roughly be described as overly broad considering that it may likewise include the description of semantics, syntax, and synchronization of both analog and digital communications. But not only that since communication protocols also covers stuff like authentication, correction, signaling, and error detection.

It is also very crucial that anyone given the responsibility to study this critical part of telecommunications and digital messaging must know that communication protocols are intended to be utilized and implemented in software and hardware. This only means that the requirements are of a certainty in both aspects of the typical computing system. The fact is there never will be a concept of computer networking without the existence or implementation of communication protocols. In today’s modern communications era, thousands of different protocols are being used and implements to both analog and digital types of communication.
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But considering how difficult and unfamiliar the terms are for a typical reader, there’s no denying that it really isn’t something that can be understood in just one read. So is there any other simple way to obtain a decent understanding of what these protocols really mean? First things first, it is a well-established fact that communications devices today are being paired for the purpose of exchanging data; but before that exchange could actually happen, the devices involved must agree on several different physical aspects of that data intended to be transmitted from one communications device to another. Now to figure out how transmissions become successful, there has to be a set of rules to be enforced and followed and the inability to follow means no transmission will be carried out. These rules that define transmissions are now what we call as protocols.
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At this point, the terms get more complicated. For one, you must understand that there actually are so many different transmission properties that a protocol is designed to define. The most familiar of these properties include that of address mapping and formatting, packet size, error correction types, transmission speed, handshaking and synchronization techniques, and flow control.

Once properties are defined, it’s time that you learn what the most popular existing protocols there are today. The most popular and commonly known protocols are that of FTP or File Transfer Protocol, TCP/IP, HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, UDP or User Datagram Protocol, SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, POP3 or Post Office Protocol, and IMAP or Internet Message Access Protocol.

A Quick Rundown of Protocols