Computer Protocol – Concept, properties and examples

We explain what a computer protocol is, its properties and some examples. Also, what is a network and Internet protocol.

computer protocol
A computer protocol regulates the communication between two or more systems.

What is a computer protocol?

In computing and telecommunications, we talk about a protocol to refer to a system of rules governing communication between two or more systems that information is transmitted through various physical means.

In other words, protocols are languages ​​or codes for communication between computer systems, defined based on syntax, semantics and synchronization, as well as error recovery methods.

Therefore, it depends on the protocols to ensure that two or more computer systems can communicate in an efficient and orderly manner, that is, that they speak the same language. These languages ​​are implemented by hardware or software, or combinations of both, and gives each participant in communication an identity and a specific method of information processing.

These protocols can vary enormously and be more or less sophisticated, like secret codes. However, they usually have at least one of the following properties:

  • Detection of the underlying physical connection.
  • Negotiation of connection characteristics.
  • Error correction policy.
  • Establishment of the connection and its termination.
  • What to do in case of sudden loss of connectivity.
  • Security or encryption strategies.
  • Message format.

Computer protocol examples

computer protocol
A DNS allows you to connect your URL with a specific path.

Some examples of protocol in the computer field are:

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol). One of the many protocols used to upload or download files at high speeds through a computer network, and that prioritizes effectiveness over security.
  • DNS (Domain Yam Service). A naming protocol for Internet Web pages, which allows its URL address to be connected to the specific path where the resources and information to be displayed are found.
  • HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). Also commonly used on the Internet, it is used to establish hypertexts or informational jumps between one page and another, being also a programming language that allows the design of the pages itself.
  • POP (Post Office Protocol). Specific for email services, it allows you to retrieve messages stored on a remote server (POP Server), especially in intermittent or very slow connections.

Network protocol

network protocol
Network protocols are used for communication over computer networks.

Network protocols are specially designed for communication over computer networks, which operate by fragmenting the information sent into small pieces, rather than all at once. The parts are quick and easy to transmit, but stored in their indicated order to preserve meaning and operate together.

These protocols also operate on the basis of different layers, which allow establishing adequate routes to get the information to its destination even if there are no direct connections between the sender and the receiver. For this, these layers are managed independently, in two large piles: the one belonging to the transport and the one belonging to the link.

Internet protocol

internet protocol
An Internet protocol is geared towards two-way communication.

An internet protocol (or IP, Internet Protocol) is a type of computer communications protocol oriented to two-way communication (source-destination) to transmit switched packets of information, according to the OSI data link standard.

IPs try to route data packets through the best available route, considering how vast the Internet can be today.

IP protocols they do not guarantee the arrival of the package at its destination, but the security of the shipment of the same, for what is considered a datagram service of “the best effort“, that is to say, without guarantees, reason why the packages can arrive damaged or in another order. In that sense, they are surpassed by TCP protocols (Transmission Control Protocols).

There are already several versions of this protocol, cataloged as IPvX, the most current of which is IPv4, whose depletion of resources is already driving the creation and use of IPv6. Versions 0 to 3 were reserved and version 5 is experimental.