Network Basics

Types Of Networks

  • PAN

A personal area network, or PAN, is a computer network that enables communication between computer devices near a person. PANs can be wired, such as USB or FireWire, or they can be wireless, such as infrared, ZigBee, Bluetooth and ultrawideband, or UWB. The range of a PAN typically is a few meters. Examples of wireless PAN, or WPAN, devices include cell phone headsets, wireless keyboards, wireless mice, printers, bar code scanners and game consoles.

  • LAN

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building. To make a LAN Network minimum 2 systems must be connected.

  • WAN

A wide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network that extends over a large geographic area for the primary purpose of computer networking. Wide area networks are often established with leased telecommunication circuits. Businesses, as well as schools and government entities, use wide area networks to relay data to staff, students, clients, buyers and suppliers from various locations across the world. In essence, this mode of telecommunication allows a business to effectively carry out its daily function regardless of location. The Internet may be considered a WAN.

  • Wired Network

A Wired Network connects devices to the internet or other network using cables. The most common wired network use cables connected to Ethernet Ports.

  • Wireless Network

Wireless network uses radio waves to connect laptops to the Internet, the business network and its applications. Wireless networks are computer networks that are not connected by cables of any kind. The use of a wireless network enables enterprises to avoid the costly process of introducing cables into buildings or as a connection between different equipment locations.

Computer Networks

  • OSI Model

Features Of OSI Model

  1. OSI stands for Open System Interconnection is a reference model that describes how information from a software application in one computer moves through a physical medium to the software application in another computer.

  2. OSI consists of seven layers, and each layer performs a particular network function.

  3. OSI model was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1984, and it is now considered as an architectural model for the inter-computer communications.

  4. OSI model divides the whole task into seven smaller and manageable tasks. Each layer is assigned a particular task.

  5. Each layer is self-contained, so that task assigned to each layer can be performed independently.

Layers of the OSI Model

Layer 1. Physical Layer

The physical layer is responsible for the physical cable or wireless connection between network nodes. It defines the connector, the electrical cable or wireless technology connecting the devices, and is responsible for transmission of the raw data, which is simply a series of 0s and 1s, while taking care of bit rate control.

Layer 2. Data Link Layer

The data link layer establishes and terminates a connection between two physically-connected nodes on a network. It breaks up packets into frames and sends them from source to destination. This layer is composed of two parts—Logical Link Control (LLC), which identifies network protocols, performs error checking and synchronizes frames, and Media Access Control (MAC) which uses MAC addresses to connect devices and define permissions to transmit and receive data.

Layer 3. Network Layer

The network layer has two main functions. One is breaking up segments into network packets, and reassembling the packets on the receiving end. The other is routing packets by discovering the best path across a physical network. The network layer uses network addresses (typically Internet Protocol addresses) to route packets to a destination node.

Layer 4. Transport Layer

The transport layer takes data transferred in the session layer and breaks it into “segments” on the transmitting end. It is responsible for reassembling the segments on the receiving end, turning it back into data that can be used by the session layer. The transport layer carries out flow control, sending data at a rate that matches the connection speed of the receiving device, and error control, checking if data was received incorrectly and if not, requesting it again.

Layer 5. Session Layer

The session layer creates communication channels, called sessions, between devices. It is responsible for opening sessions, ensuring they remain open and functional while data is being transferred, and closing them when communication ends. The session layer can also set checkpoints during a data transfer—if the session is interrupted, devices can resume data transfer from the last checkpoint.

Layer 6. Presentation Layer

The presentation layer prepares data for the application layer. It defines how two devices should encode, encrypt, and compress data so it is received correctly on the other end. The presentation layer takes any data transmitted by the application layer and prepares it for transmission over the session layer.

Layer 7. Application Layer

The application layer is used by end-user software such as web browsers and email clients. It provides protocols that allow software to send and receive information and present meaningful data to users. A few examples of application layer protocols are the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Post Office Protocol (POP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and Domain Name System (DNS).

  • TCP/IP Reference Model

The OSI Model we just looked at is just a reference/logical model. It was designed to describe the functions of the communication system by dividing the communication procedure into smaller and simpler components. But when we talk about the TCP/IP model, it was designed and developed by Department of Defense (DoD) in 1960s and is based on standard protocols. It stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The TCP/IP model is a concise version of the OSI model. It contains four layers, unlike seven layers in the OSI model.

Layers of TCP/IP reference model

Layer 1. Network Access Layer

This layer corresponds to the combination of Data Link Layer and Physical Layer of the OSI model. It looks out for hardware addressing and the protocols present in this layer allows for the physical transmission of data.

We just talked about ARP being a protocol of Internet layer, but there is a conflict about declaring it as a protocol of Internet Layer or Network access layer. It is described as residing in layer 3, being encapsulated by layer 2 protocols.

Layer 2. Internet Layer

This layer parallels the functions of OSI’s Network layer. It defines the protocols which are responsible for logical transmission of data over the entire network. The main protocols residing at this layer are :

IP

stands for Internet Protocol and it is responsible for delivering packets from the source host to the destination host by looking at the IP addresses in the packet headers. IP has 2 versions:IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is the one that most of the websites are using currently. But IPv6 is growing as the number of IPv4 addresses are limited in number when compared to the number of users.

ICMP

stands for Internet Control Message Protocol. It is encapsulated within IP datagrams and is responsible for providing hosts with information about network problems.

ARP

stands for Address Resolution Protocol. Its job is to find the hardware address of a host from a known IP address. ARP has several types: Reverse ARP, Proxy ARP, Gratuitous ARP and Inverse ARP.

Layer 3. Host-to-Host Layer

This layer is analogous to the transport layer of the OSI model. It is responsible for end-to-end communication and error-free delivery of data. It shields the upper-layer applications from the complexities of data. The two main protocols present in this layer are :

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

It is known to provide reliable and error-free communication between end systems. It performs sequencing and segmentation of data. It also has acknowledgment feature and controls the flow of the data through flow control mechanism. It is a very effective protocol but has a lot of overhead due to such features. Increased overhead leads to increased cost.

User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

On the other hand does not provide any such features. It is the go-to protocol if your application does not require reliable transport as it is very cost-effective. Unlike TCP, which is connection-oriented protocol, UDP is connectionless.

Layer 4. Application Layer

This layer performs the functions of top three layers of the OSI model: Application, Presentation and Session Layer. It is responsible for node-to-node communication and controls user-interface specifications. Some of the protocols present in this layer are: HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, TFTP, Telnet, SSH, SMTP, SNMP, NTP, DNS, DHCP, NFS, X Window, LPD. Have a look at Protocols in Application Layer for some information about these protocols. Protocols other than those present in the linked article are :

HTTP and HTTPS

HTTP stands for Hypertext transfer protocol. It is used by the World Wide Web to manage communications between web browsers and servers. HTTPS stands for HTTP-Secure. It is a combination of HTTP with SSL(Secure Socket Layer). It is efficient in cases where the browser need to fill out forms, sign in, authenticate and carry out bank transactions.

SSH

SSH stands for Secure Shell. It is a terminal emulations software similar to Telnet. The reason SSH is more preferred is because of its ability to maintain the encrypted connection. It sets up a secure session over a TCP/IP connection.

NTP

NTP stands for Network Time Protocol. It is used to synchronize the clocks on our computer to one standard time source. It is very useful in situations like bank transactions. Assume the following situation without the presence of NTP. Suppose you carry out a transaction, where your computer reads the time at 2:30 PM while the server records it at 2:28 PM. The server can crash very badly if it’s out of sync.

Naming Address and Forwarding

  • MAC Address

A media access control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier assigned to a network interface controller (NIC) for use as a network address in communications within a network segment. This use is common in most IEEE 802 networking technologies, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Within the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) network model, MAC addresses are used in the medium access control protocol sublayer of the data link layer. As typically represented, MAC addresses are recognizable as six groups of two hexadecimal digits, separated by hyphens, colons, or without a separator.

MAC addresses are primarily assigned by device manufacturers, and are therefore often referred to as the burned-in address, or as an Ethernet hardware address, hardware address, or physical address. Each address can be stored in hardware, such as the card's read-only memory, or by a firmware mechanism. Many network interfaces, however, support changing their MAC address. The address typically includes a manufacturer's organizationally unique identifier (OUI). MAC addresses are formed according to the principles of two numbering spaces based on Extended Unique Identifiers (EUI) managed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): EUI-48, which replaces the obsolete term MAC-48, and EUI-64.

  • IP Address

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) defines an IP address as a 32-bit number. However, because of the growth of the Internet and the depletion of available IPv4 addresses, a new version of IP (IPv6), using 128 bits for the IP address, was standardized in 1998. IPv6 deployment has been ongoing since the mid-2000s.

IP addresses are written and displayed in human-readable notations, such as 172.16.254.1 in IPv4, and 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1 in IPv6. The size of the routing prefix of the address is designated in CIDR notation by suffixing the address with the number of significant bits, e.g., 192.168.1.15/24, which is equivalent to the historically used subnet mask 255.255.255.0.

The IP address space is managed globally by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and by five regional Internet registries (RIRs) responsible in their designated territories for assignment to local Internet registries, such as Internet service providers (ISPs), and other end users. IPv4 addresses were distributed by IANA to the RIRs in blocks of approximately 16.8 million addresses each, but have been exhausted at the IANA level since 2011. Only one of the RIRs still has a supply for local assignments in Africa. Some IPv4 addresses are reserved for private networks and are not globally unique.

Network administrators assign an IP address to each device connected to a network. Such assignments may be on a static (fixed or permanent) or dynamic basis, depending on network practices and software features.

  • Subnet Mask

A subnet mask is a 32-bit number created by setting host bits to all 0s and setting network bits to all 1s. In this way, the subnet mask separates the IP address into the network and host addresses.

The “255” address is always assigned to a broadcast address, and the “0” address is always assigned to a network address. Neither can be assigned to hosts, as they are reserved for these special purposes.

The IP address, subnet mask and gateway or router comprise an underlying structure—the Internet Protocol—that most networks use to facilitate inter-device communication.

When organizations need additional sub networking, subnetting divides the host element of the IP address further into a subnet. The goal of subnet masks are simply to enable the subnetting process. The phrase “mask” is applied because the subnet mask essentially uses its own 32-bit number to mask the IP address.

  • Gateway

The gateway address (or default gateway) is a router interface connected to the local network that sends packets out of the local network. The gateway has a physical and a logical address.

The gateway operates at the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI Model. The gateway is used when transmitting packets. When packets are sent over a network, the destination IP address is examined. If the destination IP is outside of the network, then the packet goes to the gateway for transmission outside of the network. The gateway is on the same network as end devices. The gateway address must have the same subnet mask as host devices. Each host on the network uses the same gateway.

The gateway should have a static address, as changing the address would cause packets not to be delivered. The gateway is typically assigned either the highest or lowest network address. This is not a requirement, but many organizations use a consistent addressing scheme to facilitate network planning.

  • Network Address Translation (NAT)

Network address translation (NAT) is a method of remapping an IP address space into another by modifying network address information in the IP header of packets while they are in transit across a traffic routing device. The technique was originally used to avoid the need to assign a new address to every host when a network was moved, or when the upstream Internet service provider was replaced, but could not route the networks address space. It has become a popular and essential tool in conserving global address space in the face of IPv4 address exhaustion. One Internet-routable IP address of a NAT gateway can be used for an entire private network.

As network address translation modifies the IP address information in packets, NAT implementations may vary in their specific behavior in various addressing cases and their effect on network traffic. The specifics of NAT behavior are not commonly documented by vendors of equipment containing NAT implementations.

  • Domain Name System/Server/Services (DNS)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates more readily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer services and devices with the underlying network protocols. By providing a worldwide, distributed directory service, the Domain Name System has been an essential component of the functionality of the Internet since 1985.

Subnetting

Subnetting is the process of designating some high-order bits from the host part as part of the network prefix and adjusting the subnet mask appropriately. This divides a network into smaller subnets.

A subnetwork or subnet is a logical subdivision of an IP network. The practice of dividing a network into two or more networks is called subnetting.

Computers that belong to a subnet are addressed with an identical most-significant bit-group in their IP addresses. This results in the logical division of an IP address into two fields: the network number or routing prefix and the rest field or host identifier. The rest field is an identifier for a specific host or network interface.

The routing prefix may be expressed in Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) notation written as the first address of a network, followed by a slash character (/), and ending with the bit-length of the prefix. For example, 198.51.100.0/24 is the prefix of the Internet Protocol version 4 network starting at the given address, having 24 bits allocated for the network prefix, and the remaining 8 bits reserved for host addressing. Addresses in the range 198.51.100.0 to 198.51.100.255 belong to this network. The IPv6 address specification 2001:db8::/32 is a large address block with 296 addresses, having a 32-bit routing prefix.

For IPv4, a network may also be characterized by its subnet mask or netmask, which is the bitmask that when applied by a bitwise AND operation to any IP address in the network, yields the routing prefix. Subnet masks are also expressed in dot-decimal notation like an address. For example, 255.255.255.0 is the subnet mask for the prefix 198.51.100.0/24.

Traffic is exchanged between subnetworks through routers when the routing prefixes of the source address and the destination address differ. A router serves as a logical or physical boundary between the subnets.

The benefits of subnetting an existing network vary with each deployment scenario. In the address allocation architecture of the Internet using CIDR and in large organizations, it is necessary to allocate address space efficiently. Subnetting may also enhance routing efficiency, or have advantages in network management when subnetworks are administratively controlled by different entities in a larger organization. Subnets may be arranged logically in a hierarchical architecture, partitioning an organization's network address space into a tree-like routing structure.

Networking Devices

  • Hub

An Ethernet hub, active hub, network hub, repeater hub, multiport repeater, or simply hub is a network hardware device for connecting multiple Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment. It has multiple input/output (I/O) ports, in which a signal introduced at the input of any port appears at the output of every port except the original incoming. A hub works at the physical layer (layer 1) of the OSI model. A repeater hub also participates in collision detection, forwarding a jam signal to all ports if it detects a collision. In addition to standard 8P8C ("RJ45") ports, some hubs may also come with a BNC or an Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) connector to allow connection to legacy 10BASE2 or 10BASE5 network segments.

Hubs are now largely obsolete, having been replaced by network switches except in very old installations or specialized applications. As of 2011, connecting network segments by repeaters or hubs is deprecated by IEEE 802.3.

  • Bridges

A network bridge is a computer networking device that creates a single aggregate network from multiple communication networks or network segments. This function is called network bridging. Bridging is distinct from routing. Routing allows multiple networks to communicate independently and yet remain separate, whereas bridging connects two separate networks as if they were a single network. In the OSI model, bridging is performed in the data link layer (layer 2). If one or more segments of the bridged network are wireless, the device is known as a wireless bridge.

The main types of network bridging technologies are simple bridging, multiport bridging, and learning or transparent bridging.

  • Switches

A network switch (also called switching hub, bridging hub, and, by the IEEE, MAC bridge) is networking hardware that connects devices on a computer network by using packet switching to receive and forward data to the destination device.

A network switch is a multiport network bridge that uses MAC addresses to forward data at the data link layer (layer 2) of the OSI model. Some switches can also forward data at the network layer (layer 3) by additionally incorporating routing functionality. Such switches are commonly known as layer-3 switches or multilayer switches.

Switches for Ethernet are the most common form of network switch. The first Ethernet switch was introduced by Kalpana in 1990. Switches also exist for other types of networks including Fibre Channel, Asynchronous Transfer Mode, and InfiniBand.

Unlike less advanced repeater hubs, which broadcast the same data out of each of its ports and lets the devices determine which data is addressed to them, a network switch forwards data only to the devices to which it is addressed.

  • Routers

A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. Data sent through the internet, such as a web page or email, is in the form of data packets. A packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the networks that constitute an internetwork (e.g. the Internet) until it reaches its destination node.

A router is connected to two or more data lines from different IP networks. When a data packet comes in on one of the lines, the router reads the network address information in the packet header to determine the ultimate destination. Then, using information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey.

The most familiar type of IP routers are home and small office routers that simply forward IP packets between the home computers and the Internet. More sophisticated routers, such as enterprise routers, connect large business or ISP networks up to the powerful core routers that forward data at high speed along the optical fiber lines of the Internet backbone.

  • Firewalls

In computing, a firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network, such as the Internet.

The term firewall originally referred to a wall intended to confine a fire within a line of adjacent buildings. Later uses refer to similar structures, such as the metal sheet separating the engine compartment of a vehicle or aircraft from the passenger compartment. The term was applied in the late 1980s to network technology that emerged when the Internet was fairly new in terms of its global use and connectivity. The predecessors to firewalls for network security were routers used in the late 1980s. Because they already segregated networks, routers could apply filtering to packets crossing them. Before it was used in real-life computing, the term appeared in the 1983 computer-hacking movie WarGames, and possibly inspired its later use.

  • Wireless Access Points (WAP)

In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network. The AP usually connects to a router (via a wired network) as a standalone device, but it can also be an integral component of the router itself. An AP is differentiated from a hotspot which is a physical location where Wi-Fi access is available.

  • Modems

A modem – a portmanteau of "modulator-demodulator" – is a hardware device that converts data from a digital format, intended for communication directly between devices with specialized wiring, into one suitable for a transmission medium such as telephone lines or radio. A modem modulates one or more carrier wave signals to encode digital information for transmission, and demodulates signals to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded reliably to reproduce the original digital data.

Modems can be used with almost any means of transmitting analog signals, from light-emitting diodes to radio. A common type of modem is one that turns the digital data of a computer into a modulated electrical signal for transmission over telephone lines, to be demodulated by another modem at the receiver side to recover the digital data.

Protocols

  • Application Layer

An application layer is an abstraction layer that specifies the shared communications protocols and interface methods used by hosts in a communications network. The application layer abstraction is used in both of the standard models of computer networking: the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) and the OSI model. Although both models use the same term for their respective highest level layer, the detailed definitions and purposes are different.

  1. DHCP (Dynamin Host Configuration Protocol)

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol used on Internet Protocol (IP) networks, whereby a DHCP server dynamically assigns an IP address and other network configuration parameters to each device on the network, so they can communicate with other IP networks. A DHCP server enables computers to request IP addresses and networking parameters automatically from the Internet service provider (ISP), reducing the need for a network administrator or a user to manually assign IP addresses to all network devices. In the absence of a DHCP server, a computer or other device on the network needs to be manually assigned an IP address, or to assign itself an APIPA address, the latter of which will not enable it to communicate outside its local subnet.

DHCP can be implemented on networks ranging in size from home networks to large campus networks and regional ISP networks. A router or a residential gateway can be enabled to act as a DHCP server. Most residential network routers receive a globally unique IP address within the ISP network. Within a local network, a DHCP server assigns a local IP address to each device connected to the network.

  1. FTP/SFTP (File Transfer Protocol/Secure File Transfer Protocol)

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used for the transfer of computer files between a client and server on a computer network.

FTP is built on a client-server model architecture using separate control and data connections between the client and the server. FTP users may authenticate themselves with a clear-text sign-in protocol, normally in the form of a username and password, but can connect anonymously if the server is configured to allow it. For secure transmission that protects the username and password, and encrypts the content, FTP is often secured with SSL/TLS (FTPS) or replaced with SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

The first FTP client applications were command-line programs developed before operating systems had graphical user interfaces, and are still shipped with most Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. Many FTP clients and automation utilities have since been developed for desktops, servers, mobile devices, and hardware, and FTP has been incorporated into productivity applications, such as HTML editors.

  1. HTTP/HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol/ Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application layer protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can easily access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser.

Development of HTTP was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989. Development of early HTTP Requests for Comments (RFCs) was a coordinated effort by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), with work later moving to the IETF.

HTTP/1.1 was first documented in RFC 2068 in 1997. That specification was obsoleted by RFC 2616 in 1999, which was likewise replaced by the RFC 7230 family of RFCs in 2014.

HTTP/2 is a more efficient expression of HTTP's semantics "on the wire", and was published in 2015; it is now supported by virtually all web browsers and major web servers over Transport Layer Security (TLS) using an Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) extension where TLS 1.2 or newer is required.

HTTP/3 is the proposed successor to HTTP/2, which is already in use on the web (enabled by default in latest macOS), using UDP instead of TCP for the underlying transport protocol. Like HTTP/2, it does not obsolete previous major versions of the protocol. Support for HTTP/3 was added to Cloud flare and Google Chrome in September 2019, and can be enabled in the stable versions of Chrome and Firefox.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is used for secure communication over a computer network, and is widely used on the Internet. In HTTPS, the communication protocol is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS) or, formerly, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). The protocol is therefore also referred to as HTTP over TLS, or HTTP over SSL.

  1. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

In computing, the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is an Internet standard protocol used by email clients to retrieve email messages from a mail server over a TCP/IP connection. IMAP is defined by RFC 3501.

IMAP was designed with the goal of permitting complete management of an email box by multiple email clients, therefore clients generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them. An IMAP server typically listens on port number 143. IMAP over SSL (IMAPS) is assigned the port number 993.

Virtually all modern e-mail clients and servers support IMAP, which along with the earlier POP3 (Post Office Protocol) are the two most prevalent standard protocols for email retrieval. Many webmail service providers such as Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail also provide support for both IMAP and POP3.

  1. LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is an open, vendor-neutral, industry standard application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Directory services play an important role in developing intranet and Internet applications by allowing the sharing of information about users, systems, networks, services, and applications throughout the network. As examples, directory services may provide any organized set of records, often with a hierarchical structure, such as a corporate email directory. Similarly, a telephone directory is a list of subscribers with an address and a phone number.

LDAP is specified in a series of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Track publications called Request for Comments (RFCs), using the description language ASN.1. The latest specification is Version 3, published as RFC 4511 (a road map to the technical specifications is provided by RFC4510).

A common use of LDAP is to provide a central place to store usernames and passwords. This allows many different applications and services to connect to the LDAP server to validate users.

LDAP is based on a simpler subset of the standards contained within the X.500 standard. Because of this relationship, LDAP is sometimes called X.500-lite.

  1. POP (Post Office Protocol)

In computing, the Post Office Protocol (POP) is an application-layer Internet standard protocol used by e-mail clients to retrieve e-mail from a mail server.

POP version 3 (POP3) is the version in common use.

  1. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a communication protocol for electronic mail transmission. As an Internet standard, SMTP was first defined in 1982 by RFC 821, and updated in 2008 by RFC 5321 to Extended SMTP additions, which is the protocol variety in widespread use today. Mail servers and other message transfer agents use SMTP to send and receive mail messages. SMTP servers commonly use the Transmission Control Protocol on port number 25.

User-level email clients typically use SMTP only for sending messages to a mail server for relaying, and typically submit outgoing email to the mail server on port 587 or 465 as per RFC 8314. For retrieving messages, IMAP and POP3 are standard, but proprietary servers also often implement proprietary protocols, e.g., Exchange ActiveSync.

  1. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an Internet Standard protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks and for modifying that information to change device behavior. Devices that typically support SNMP include cable modems, routers, switches, servers, workstations, printers, and more.

SNMP is widely used in network management for network monitoring. SNMP exposes management data in the form of variables on the managed systems organized in a management information base (MIB) which describe the system status and configuration. These variables can then be remotely queried (and, in some circumstances, manipulated) by managing applications.

Three significant versions of SNMP have been developed and deployed. SNMPv1 is the original version of the protocol. More recent versions, SNMPv2c and SNMPv3, feature improvements in performance, flexibility and security.

SNMP is a component of the Internet Protocol Suite as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It consists of a set of standards for network management, including an application layer protocol, a database schema, and a set of data objects.

  1. SSH (Secure Shell)

SSH or Secure Shell is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. Typical applications include remote command-line, login, and remote command execution, but any network service can be secured with SSH.

SSH provides a secure channel over an unsecured network by using a client–server architecture, connecting an SSH client application with an SSH server. The protocol specification distinguishes between two major versions, referred to as SSH-1 and SSH-2. The standard TCP port for SSH is 22. SSH is generally used to access Unix-like operating systems, but it can also be used on Microsoft Windows. Windows 10 uses OpenSSH as its default SSH client and SSH server.

Despite popular misconception, SSH is not an implementation of Telnet with cryptography provided by the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

SSH was designed as a replacement for Telnet and for unsecured remote shell protocols such as the Berkeley rsh and the related rlogin and rexec protocols. Those protocols send information, notably passwords, in plaintext, rendering them susceptible to interception and disclosure using packet analysis. The encryption used by SSH is intended to provide confidentiality and integrity of data over an unsecured network, such as the Internet.

  1. Telnet

Telnet is an application protocol used on the Internet or local area network to provide a bidirectional interactive text-oriented communication facility using a virtual terminal connection. User data is interspersed in-band with Telnet control information in an 8-bit byte oriented data connection over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

Telnet was developed in 1969 beginning with RFC 15, extended in RFC 855, and standardized as Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Standard STD 8, one of the first Internet standards. The name stands for "teletype network".

Historically, Telnet provided access to a command-line interface on a remote host. However, because of serious security concerns when using Telnet over an open network such as the Internet, its use for this purpose has waned significantly in favor of SSH.

The term telnet is also used to refer to the software that implements the client part of the protocol. Telnet client applications are available for virtually all computer platforms. Telnet is also used as a verb. To telnet means to establish a connection using the Telnet protocol, either with a command line client or with a graphical interface. For example, a common directive might be: "To change your password, telnet into the server, log in and run the passwd command." In most cases, a user would be telnetting into a Unix-like server system or a network device (such as a router).

  1. SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layers/Transport Layer Secure Protocol)

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and, in short, it's the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred, including potential personal details. The two systems can be a server and a client (for example, a shopping website and browser) or server to server (for example, an application with personal identifiable information or with payroll information).

It does this by making sure that any data transferred between users and sites, or between two systems remain impossible to read. It uses encryption algorithms to scramble data in transit, preventing hackers from reading it as it is sent over the connection. This information could be anything sensitive or personal which can include credit card numbers and other financial information, names and addresses.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is just an updated, more secure, version of SSL.

  • Transport Layer

In computer networking, the transport layer is a conceptual division of methods in the layered architecture of protocols in the network stack in the Internet protocol suite and the OSI model. The protocols of this layer provide host-to-host communication services for applications. It provides services such as connection-oriented communication, reliability, flow control, and multiplexing.

  1. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is one of the main protocols of the Internet protocol suite. It originated in the initial network implementation in which it complemented the Internet Protocol (IP). Therefore, the entire suite is commonly referred to as TCP/IP. TCP provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of a stream of octets (bytes) between applications running on hosts communicating via an IP network. Major internet applications such as the World Wide Web, email, remote administration, and file transfer rely on TCP, which is part of the Transport Layer of the TCP/IP suite. SSL/TLS often runs on top of TCP.

TCP is connection-oriented, and a connection between client and server is established before data can be sent. The server must be listening (passive open) for connection requests from clients before a connection is established. Three-way handshake (active open), retransmission, and error-detection adds to reliability but lengthens latency. Applications that do not require reliable data stream service may use the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which provides a connectionless datagram service that prioritizes time over reliability. TCP employs network congestion avoidance. However, there are vulnerabilities to TCP including denial of service, connection hijacking, TCP veto, and reset attack. For network security, monitoring, and debugging, TCP traffic can be intercepted and logged with a packet sniffer.

Though TCP is a complex protocol, its basic operation has not changed significantly since its first specification. TCP is still dominantly used for the web, i.e. for the HTTP protocol, and later HTTP/2, while not used by latest standard HTTP/3.

  1. UDP (User Datagram Protocol)

In computer networking, the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is one of the core members of the Internet protocol suite. The protocol was designed by David P. Reed in 1980 and formally defined in RFC 768. With UDP, computer applications can send messages, in this case referred to as datagrams, to other hosts on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Prior communications are not required in order to set up communication channels or data paths.

UDP uses a simple connectionless communication model with a minimum of protocol mechanisms. UDP provides checksums for data integrity, and port numbers for addressing different functions at the source and destination of the datagram. It has no handshaking dialogues, and thus exposes the user's program to any unreliability of the underlying network; there is no guarantee of delivery, ordering, or duplicate protection. If error-correction facilities are needed at the network interface level, an application may use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) which are designed for this purpose.

UDP is suitable for purposes where error checking and correction are either not necessary or are performed in the application; UDP avoids the overhead of such processing in the protocol stack. Time-sensitive applications often use UDP because dropping packets is preferable to waiting for packets delayed due to retransmission, which may not be an option in a real-time system.

  1. RSVP (Resource Reservation Protocol)

The Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) is a transport layer protocol designed to reserve resources across a network using the integrated services model. RSVP operates over an IPv4 or IPv6 and provides receiver-initiated setup of resource reservations for multicast or unicast data flows. It does not transport application data but is similar to a control protocol, like Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) or Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). RSVP is described in RFC 2205.

RSVP can be used by hosts and routers to request or deliver specific levels of quality of service (QoS) for application data streams. RSVP defines how applications place reservations and how they can relinquish the reserved resources once no longer required. RSVP operations will generally result in resources being reserved in each node along a path. RSVP is not a routing protocol but was designed to interoperate with current and future routing protocols.

RSVP by itself is rarely deployed in telecommunications networks. In 2003, development effort was shifted from RSVP to RSVP-TE for teletraffic engineering. Next Steps in Signaling (NSIS) was a proposed replacement for RSVP.

  • Internet Layer

The internet layer is a group of internetworking methods, protocols, and specifications in the Internet protocol suite that are used to transport network packets from the originating host across network boundaries; if necessary, to the destination host specified by an IP address. The internet layer derives its name from its function facilitating internetworking, which is the concept of connecting multiple networks with each other through gateways.

The internet layer does not include the protocols that fulfill the purpose of maintaining link states between the local nodes and that usually use protocols that are based on the framing of packets specific to the link types. Such protocols belong to the link layer. Internet-layer protocols use IP-based packets.

A common design aspect in the internet layer is the robustness principle: "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send" as a misbehaving host can deny Internet service to many other users.

  1. ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol)

The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is a supporting protocol in the Internet protocol suite. It is used by network devices, including routers, to send error messages and operational information indicating success or failure when communicating with another IP address, for example, an error is indicated when a requested service is not available or that a host or router could not be reached. ICMP differs from transport protocols such as TCP and UDP in that it is not typically used to exchange data between systems, nor is it regularly employed by end-user network applications (with the exception of some diagnostic tools like ping and traceroute).

  • Link Layer

In computer networking, the link layer is the lowest layer in the Internet protocol suite, the networking architecture of the Internet. The link layer is the group of methods and communications protocols confined to the link that a host is physically connected to. The link is the physical and logical network component used to interconnect hosts or nodes in the network and a link protocol is a suite of methods and standards that operate only between adjacent network nodes of a network segment.

  1. PPP (Point to Point Protocol)

In computer networking, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is a Data link layer (layer 2) communications protocol between two routers directly without any host or any other networking in between. It can provide connection authentication, transmission encryption, and compression.

PPP is used over many types of physical networks, including serial cable, phone line, trunk line, cellular telephone, specialized radio links, and fiber optic links, such as SONET. Internet service providers (ISPs) have used PPP for customer dial-up access to the Internet, since IP packets cannot be transmitted over a modem line on their own without some data link protocol that can identify where the transmitted frame starts and where it ends.

Two derivatives of PPP, Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) and Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM (PPPoA), are used most commonly by ISPs to establish a digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet service connection with customers.

  1. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

Digital subscriber line (DSL; originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines. In telecommunications marketing, the term DSL is widely understood to mean asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the most commonly installed DSL technology, for Internet access.

DSL service can be delivered simultaneously with wired telephone service on the same telephone line since DSL uses higher frequency bands for data. On the customer premises, a DSL filter on each non-DSL outlet blocks any high-frequency interference to enable simultaneous use of the voice and DSL services.

The bit rate of consumer DSL services typically ranges from 256 kbit/s to over 100 Mbit/s in the direction to the customer (downstream), depending on DSL technology, line conditions, and service-level implementation. Bit rates of 1 Gbit/s have been reached.

In ADSL, the data throughput in the upstream direction (the direction to the service provider) is lower, hence the designation of asymmetric service. In symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) services, the downstream and upstream data rates are equal. Researchers at Bell Labs have reached speeds over 1 Gbit/s for symmetrical broadband access services using traditional copper telephone lines, though such speeds have not yet been deployed elsewhere.

  1. ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network)

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the digitalized circuits of the public switched phone network. Work on the standard began in 1980 at Bell Labs and was formally standardized in 1988 in the CCITT "Red Book". By the time the standard was released, newer networking system with much greater speeds were available, and ISDN saw relatively little uptake in the wider market. One estimate suggests ISDN use peaked at a worldwide total of 25 million subscribers at a time when 1.3 billion analog lines were in use. ISDN has largely been replaced with digital subscriber line (DSL) systems of much higher performance.

  • Other Protocols

  1. RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol)

The Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) is a network protocol for delivering audio and video over IP networks. RTP is used in communication and entertainment systems that involve streaming media, such as telephony, video teleconference applications including WebRTC, television services and web-based push-to-talk features.

RTP typically runs over User Datagram Protocol (UDP). RTP is used in conjunction with the RTP Control Protocol (RTCP). While RTP carries the media streams (e.g., audio and video), RTCP is used to monitor transmission statistics and quality of service (QoS) and aids synchronization of multiple streams. RTP is one of the technical foundations of Voice over IP and in this context is often used in conjunction with a signaling protocol such as the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) which establishes connections across the network.

RTP was developed by the Audio-Video Transport Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and first published in 1996 as RFC 1889 which was then superseded by RFC 3550 in 2003.

  1. TOR (The Onion Routing Protocol)

Tor is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. The name derived from the acronym for the original software project name "The Onion Router". Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user's location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user: this includes "visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms". Tor's intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities unmonitored.

Tor does not prevent an online service from determining that it is being accessed through Tor. Tor protects a user's privacy, but does not hide the fact that someone is using Tor. Some websites restrict allowances through Tor. For example, Wikipedia blocks attempts by Tor users to edit articles unless special permission is sought.

  1. X.500

X.500 is a series of computer networking standards covering electronic directory services. The X.500 series was developed by the Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T). ITU-T was formerly known as the Consultative Committee for International Telephony and Telegraphy (CCITT). X.500 was approved first in 1988. The directory services were developed to support requirements of X.400 electronic mail exchange and name lookup. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was a partner in developing the standards, incorporating them into the Open Systems Interconnection suite of protocols. ISO/IEC 9594 is the corresponding ISO identification.

  1. S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)

S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a standard for public key encryption and signing of MIME data. S/MIME is on an IETF standards track and defined in a number of documents, most importantly RFC 3369, 3370, 3850 and 3851. It was originally developed by RSA Data Security and the original specification used the IETF MIME specification with the de facto industry standard PKCS#7 secure message format. Change control to S/MIME has since been vested in the IETF and the specification is now layered on Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS), an IETF specification that is identical in most respects with PKCS #7. S/MIME functionality is built into the majority of modern email software and interoperates between them. Since it is built on CMS, MIME can also hold an advanced electronic signature.

  1. WHOIS

WHOIS (pronounced as the phrase "who is") is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information. The protocol stores and delivers database content in a human-readable format. The current iteration of the WHOIS protocol was drafted by the Internet Society, and is documented in RFC 3912.

  1. FINGER Protocol

In computer networking, the Name/Finger protocol and the Finger user information protocol are simple network protocols for the exchange of human-oriented status and user information.