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The Basics of Communication Protocol Communication protocols are generally defined as formal descriptions of digital message formats and the rules that govern their exchange. 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. The coverage of a communication protocol is for the most part very broad as it may be used to describe syntax, semantics, and synchronization of analog and digital communications. But the coverage doesn’t end there as communication protocols also covers things like that of authentication, signaling, correction, and error detection. Moreover, for every individual given the job to study and master this crucial piece of digital messaging and exchange of communications must be fully aware that communication protocols are to be implemented in both hardware and software. This literally suggests that there in fact are also strict requirements in the two aspects of computing systems. As a matter of fact, the absence of communication protocols means that computer networks can never exist. In this modern age of communications, there now exist thousands of communications protocols that are currently being in use for both analog and digital communications.
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But because the terms related or connected to communication protocols are just way too technical and unfamiliar for a typical individual, it no longer is a surprise that it’s pretty difficult to grasp in an instant. So is there any other simple way to obtain a decent understanding of what these protocols really mean? First, you must understand that for a couple of communications devices to successfully exchange data, there is a need for them to agree on certain physical aspects or composition of that same data they intend to pass or transmit; and this is required in order to come up with a successful transmission. 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 are created in order to define transmissions are referred to as protocols.
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Down the line, the terms involved in communication protocols become more complex and technical. Now you must understand as well that there are quite a number of properties of a transmission that a protocol is able to define. The most common properties include that of packet size, address mapping, flow control, routing, address formatting, transmission speed, and error correction types. So you already have an idea what those properties that protocols try to define; now it’s time to learn what the most popular existing protocols 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.