The Network Layer of OSI Model

The network layer (Layer 3) controls the source to destination delivery of data packets across multiple hops (nodes). It controls the operation of the subnet.

The main functions of the network layer are as follows −

  • It is responsible for routing packets from the source host to the destination host. The routes can be based upon static tables that are rarely changed, or they can be automatically updated depending upon network conditions.
  • The data link layer assigns the physical address locally. When the data packets are routed to remote locations, a logical addressing scheme is required to differentiate between the source system and the destination system. This is provided by the network layer.
  • This layer also provides mechanisms for congestion control.
  • The network layer tackles issues like transmission delays, transmission time, avoidance of jitters, etc.