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What is a Communication Protocol? Communication protocols are defined as a formal description for digital message formats as well as the rules that govern the exchange of information. These protocols are a critical requirement not just for telecommunications but also in the exchange of messages within and between separate or identical computing systems. In its most general sense, the coverage of a communication protocol can roughly be described as overly broad considering that it may likewise include the description of semantics, syntax, and synchronization of both analog and digital communications. But not only that since communication protocols also covers stuff like authentication, correction, signaling, and error detection. It is also very crucial that anyone given the responsibility to study this critical part of telecommunications and digital messaging must know that communication protocols are intended to be utilized and implemented in software and hardware. This literally suggests that there in fact are also strict requirements in the two aspects of computing systems. The fact is there never will be a concept of computer networking without the existence or implementation of communication protocols. 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 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. And now, for a successful transmission to happen, there are rules to be followed and these same rules will make or break the transmission. These rules that define transmissions are now what we call as protocols.
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At this point, the terms get more complicated. But first, you need to recognize the fact that there actually are so many different transmission properties that a protocol is designed to define. The most common properties include that of packet size, address mapping, flow control, routing, address formatting, transmission speed, and error correction types. 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).