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Network Protocols

From OCAU Wiki


Application-Layer Protocols

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - Service used to download files from or upload files to a server. The listener typically binds to TCP port 21.

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) - Fundamental procotol for displaying web pages (and authoring sites using extentions such as WebDAV). The service typically binds to TCP port 80.

HTTPS - HTTP secured/enveloped by SSL. The listener typically binds to TCP port 443.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) - Point-to-point encryption protocol that allows other application layer protocols to be encrypted using public key encryption. This not only provides encryption but also authentication of the server to the client, and with the (optional) use of client-side certificates can be used to authenticate the client, too.

DNS (Domain Name Service) - Primarily used to resolve domain name entries to an IP address, also used to provide hints for Email delivery and recursive lookups for subdomain records, and reverse lookups to retrieve a domain name given an IP address. Servers bind to UDP Port 53, but will also accept TCP connections (zone transfers are typically done over TCP rather than UDP).

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) - Handles the transport of email messages from one host to another, usually bound to TCP port 25.

Transport-Layer Protocols

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) - Provides a reliable connection stream between two hosts. Sometimes referred to as TCP/IP when describing TCP and associated protocols being used over IP.

UDP (User Datagram Protocol) - Provides an unreliable connectionless transport for a packet to a host.

SPX (Sequenced Packet Exchange) - Legacy transport layer protocol developed by Novell Networks. This protocol controls packet sequencing within a Novell NetWare network, and is used in conjuction with IPX. SPX is not used often now, as TCP/IP performs the same function faster and more reliably.

Network-Layer Protocols

IP (Internet Protocol) - Fundamental protocol that allows the Internet to function (though the Internet relies on a host of other protocols that are used in conjunction with IP).

IPX (Internetwork Packet eXchange) - IPX, used in conjunction with SPX, handles routing and addressing of packets within a Novell NetWare network.

Data-Link-Layer Protocols

Ethernet - Ethernet is the most widely used LAN in computer networking. Specified in the IEEE Standard 802.3, it is quite versatile, and can be used on coaxial and UTP cable networks, as well as across wireless networks.

ATM - ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) is a dedicated pachet switching technology that provides very high data throughput. By forgoing features such as error control. ATM is the technology that is behind most residential broadband technologies within Australia and the US.

PPP - PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) is used for dial-up internet access technologies. It provides and maintains a connection between two points using a telephone line, however it provides a network address so that the same connection can be used on Multipoint Circuits.

T Carrier - T carrier circuits are a form of dedicated circuit. T carrier circuits, for example T1, T2, T3, FT1 and so forth, are leased and unmetered, meaning there is no charge for how much data is transfered. T circuits can be used to connect buildings across the city or across the state.

Physical Layer Standards

Wireless Protocols

802.11a 54Mbps - not compatible with 11b or g

802.11b 11Mbps - not compatible with 11a

802.11g 54Mbps - not compatible with 11a, but backwards-compatible with 11b devices, though this may degrade performance to those with 11g connections

(See the Wireless Networking wiki page for more details.)

Wired Protocols

Ethernet - Comes in various forms, most commonly as:

  • 10BASE-T (copper wire; cat-3/-5), 10Mbps connectivity found in older installations
  • 100BASE-TX (copper wire; cat-5), 100Mbps connectivity found in most modern installations
  • 1000BASE-T (copper wire; cat-5e/-6), slowly entering mainstream use. Note that current implementations will not typically yield anywhere near 1000Mbps of bandwidth.

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