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What is Meant by a Communication Protocol? Communication protocols are generally defined as formal descriptions of digital message formats and the rules that govern their exchange. The set of protocols are essential and indispensable not only in telecommunications but also in the exchanging of messages within or between computer systems. The entire composition or coverage of a communication protocol is quite broad because for the most part, includes the description of syntax, semantics, as well as the synchronization of analog as well as 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 only means that the requirements are of a certainty in both aspects of the typical computing system. The fact is there never will be a concept of computer networking without the existence or implementation of communication protocols. In today’s modern communications era, thousands of different protocols are being used and implements to both analog and digital types of communication.
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But with all those technical terms, it’s no surprise that only a few individuals will be able to get a grasp on what communication protocols really mean and what their significance really is. So is there a way to really get a good understanding of these protocols, say in one explanation? Well, let’s begin with the fact that communications devices, in order for them to have a successful exchange of data, must agree on certain physical aspects of that data so that a successful transmission is carried out. 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 define transmissions are now what we call as protocols.
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At this point, the terms get more complicated. For one, you must understand that there actually are so many different transmission properties that a protocol is designed to define. The most familiar of these properties include that of address mapping and formatting, packet size, error correction types, transmission speed, handshaking and synchronization techniques, and flow control. Because you’re now decently versed on what those properties that protocols define, it’s high time that you also learn what the most popular communication protocols are. Well, most of them are acronyms that you probably have seen or heard somewhere, including that of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), TCP/IP, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), Post Office Protocol (POP3), and User Datagram Protocol (UDP).