The Host-to-Network Layer in TCP/IP Model

The host-to-network layer is the lowest layer of the TCP/IP model and is concerned with the physical transmission of data. It is also called a network interface layer or link layer. It can be considered as the combination of physical layer and data link layer of the OSI model.

The functions of this layer are −

  • It defines how bits are to be encoded into optical or electrical pulses.
  • It accepts IP packets from the network layer and encapsulates them into frames. It synchronizes the transmission of the frames as well as the bits making up the frames, between the sender and the receiver.
  • It states the transmission mode, i.e. simplex, half duplex or full duplex
  • It states the topology of the network, i.e. bus, star, ring etc.

The protocols that this layer supports are −

  • Ethernet
  • Frame Relay
  • Token Ring
  • ATM

The following diagram depicts the host-to-network layer in the TCP/IP protocol suite −

Updated on: 17-Jun-2020

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