What is Network Protocol : Types and Its Layers

The first popular protocol is TCP/IP designed in 1970 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn and the first network connection called SATNET (Satellite Network) developed in 1973 by Advanced Research Project Agency Network. Some of the top networking companies in India are Cisco founded in 1984, IBM (International Business Machines) in 1980, Consultancy Services in 1968, Larsen and Toubro (L & T) in 1938, Infosys in 1981 July 7th, Wipro in 29 Dec 1945, TATA Communications in 1986, Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), Orange Business Services in 1 June 2006, AT & T (American Telephone and Telegraph) and Verizon Communications in 1983.

What is a Network Protocol?

Network Protocol is defined as a set of rules and regulations to build a reliable network for a sub-system or complex embedded system and accomplishing communication between computers, servers, routers and, any other network-enabled devices. Network protocol error occurs when the internet connection is poor. Some of the international networking standards are International Organization for Standardization (ISO), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector, etc.

Types of Network Protocols

There are three types of network protocols they are Internet protocol, Wireless network protocols, and network routing protocols.

Internet Protocol

The internet protocol is defined as a protocol that contains some set of protocols they are such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and explanation of these network layer protocols are discussed below.


The standard form of TCP is Transmission Control Protocol is the backbone of all internet communication. It defines how to establish communications so that the programs can extend data. It works along with the IP defining how computer sends and receives packets of data over a network. This TCP protocol exists at layer four of the OSI model which is the transport layer.


The standard form of UDP is User Datagram Protocol is used when the small size of data is involved. It is commonly used in gaming, video conferencing and the packets of data used in UDP are datagrams and it is sent along with IP protocol as UDP-IP. This UDP protocol also exists at layer four of the OSI model.



The standard form of HTTP is the HyperText Transfer Protocol. The webpages are made in hypertext markup language and these webpages are transmitted by the HTTP protocol. It also uses DCP-IP protocol for web page transmission and the other form of HTTP known as hypertext transfer protocol secure, which provides transmission of data in encrypted form to prevent leakage of sensitive data.


The standard form of FTP is File Transfer Protocol, which provides a method to copy files over the network from one computer to another computer. It is widely used for downloading and uploading files over a website. All the above protocols integrate with Internet Protocol to provide additional capabilities.


Similarly, the lower level internet protocols like ARP and ICMP also co-exist with IP. The higher-level protocols interact with applications like websites or web browsers and the lower-level protocols interact with network adapters and other computer hardware.

Wireless Network Protocols

There are three types of wireless networks they are WAN (Wide Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network), and MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and the wireless network protocols are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Long term evolution.


The standard form of Wi-Fi is Wireless Fidelity, it is a type of wireless network used to transfer data and receive the data over high-speed internet. Dr. John Osullivan invented the first Wi-Fi and this technology released in the year 1997.


Bluetooth is one type of wireless network technology invented by Jaap Haartsen in 1994. It is used to transfer images, movies, files, music and, any other information’s between the paired devices only. If the devices are not paired, then data transmission doesn’t occur.


The LTE stands for Long term evolution and it provides high-speed mobile data, broadband data, telephone service (Voice Over LTE) supports multimedia video and secure database access, and mapping and RMS. All smartphones support LTE and use LTE for data access and it is a global open interoperable standard for wireless high-speed data. The current version of LTE is 4G and the future version is 5G, for every three to four years the new versions of LTE are released.

Network Routing Protocols

Network routing protocols are special-purpose protocols, which are designed especially for use by network routers on the internet. The common routing protocols include EIGRP, BGP, and OSPF. The standard form of EIGRP is Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol. It supports multiple upper-layer protocol stacks and supports VLSM and its operation is similar to that of OSPF. The standard form of OSPF is Open Shortest Path First. Some OSPF terminologies are Link State Advertisement (LSA), Link State Update (LSU), Link State Request (LSR) and are Link State Acknowledgement (LSAck). The standard form of BGP is the Border Gateway Protocol.

Network Protocol Layers

There are seven network protocol layers they are discussed below

Physical Layer

It is the first layer contains data in the form of bits and it is a hard layer. It is responsible for the movement of bits from one node to another node. It defines the characteristics of the interface between the devices and the transmission media and also it controls bit synchronization.

Data Link Layer

The data link layer is the second layer and it is also one type of hard layer. This layer contains two sub-layers they are LLC and MAC.

LLC: The standard form of LLC is “Logical Link Control”, it defines the process of software which provides the services to the network layer.

MAC: The standard form of MAC is “Media Access Control”, this layer defines the media access processes performed by the hardware.

Network Layer

The network layer is the third layer, that ensures the source to destination delivery of each data packet and it is also one type of hard layer. The routing occurs at the network layer and network protocol uses the physical address of networks.

Transport Layer

The transport layer is the fourth layer responsible for the process to process communication and this layer is the heart of the OSI. A UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) are the two main transfer layer protocols.


 Session Layer

This session layer is the fifth layer responsible for dialog control and synchronization. It allows the communicating systems to enter into a dialog and the synchronization allows the systems to add checkpoints. It also manages and establishes the connections between applications at each end.

Presentation Layer

The presentation layer is the sixth layer, which is responsible for translation, compression and decryption/encryption of data and it is also one type of software layer.

Application layer

The application layer is the seventh layer, which is also a software layer and the desktop layer. Example: DNS and Email.

Advantages of Network Protocol

The advantages of network protocols are

  • Flexibility
  • Less time to transfer files
  • Transfers data to different systems
  • Allows programs to run on different systems
  • High speed

Please refer to this link to know more about Common Gateway Interface.

The article describes the network protocol standards, layers of the network protocol and the types of network protocols are discussed. Here is a question for you which is the best industrial network protocol in 2019?