What is a network protocol?

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    What is a network protocol?




    In information technology, a protocol is the special set of rules that end points in a telecommunication connection use when they communicate. Protocols exist at several levels in a telecommunication connection. There are hardware telephone protocols, protocols between each of several functional layers and the corresponding layers at the other end of a communication and more. Both end points must recognize and observe a protocol. Protocols are often described in an industry or international standard.


    On the Internet, there are the TCP/IP protocols, consisting of: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which uses a set of rules to exchange messages with other Internet points at the information packet level. Internet Protocol (IP), which uses a set of rules to send and receive messages at the Internet address level


    Additional protocols that are usually packaged with TCP/IP, including the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), each with defined sets of rules to use with corresponding programs elsewhere on the Internet.