Elements of Network Protocol

Computers perform operations based on the comments received. The set of commands or rules is sent and processed by the network protocol. In the network, there are different types of computers connected which may possess different hardware and software components. So, it is necessary to make the computer of different types communicate with each other using common rules set by the network protocols. So, we need to deal with the elements of network protocols to have data communication between the nodes of the network.

Network Protocol

Network Protocol provides a set of rules to be followed for data transmission in a secure and trustable way. Some examples of network protocols are SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

Elements of Network Protocol

The elements of network protocol come under the category of communication network protocol. The common elements of protocols are divided into three types,

1. Syntax

The tern syntax means the structure or the format of the process. In network protocol, the data transmitted follows the structure called message formatting.

Message Formatting

To communicate through a network message is used based on the type of network. The basic structure of a message includes three basic elements namely header, data, and footer.

The message or information sent from the sender side to the receiver side will attain a structure that will also use a particular transmission medium. The Example of a message formatting the personal letters that were used a few decades ago. The message sent uses a specific encapsulation method called the frames which include the sender and receiver address for reliable delivery of data.

Message Encoding

The Messages sent need to be encoded into a specific format for transmission through the medium either wired or wireless in the form of waves or signals.

Message Size

The size of the message needs to be analyzed on the sender side, if the size is too larger it has to be broken into an equal number of pieces for easy transmission through the medium.

2. Semantic

When the message is sent from the source and encoded to protect it from threats, the message is divided into various bits and means different from each other. Using the semantic element of network protocol, we can come to know the details of each field’s interpretation of the sent message. This element is responsible for control and error handling.

It provides the decision about choosing the best routing to the destination of the message based on the information given in the frames or bits.

Error Handling

When the message is received at the receiver side error are detected. The message without error is valid and the one with errors is not accepted by the receiver side. For making this error detection easier, we can use certain error detection techniques like checksum and Cyclic Redundancy Checks.

3. Timing

The term Timing means the time is taken by the messages to reach the receiver and vice versa. It also deals with when to send the data from the host and to have an efficient way of data communication both the host has to send and receive data in a specific time not too fast or slow.

Message Timing

For sending a message via a network, an acknowledgment request will be sent to the client, and upon the response, the message will be sent which keeps track of timing control information. So, the timing plays an important role here and when an acknowledgment is not received within a time then the message will not be passed.

Response Time out

When the response is sent from the sender to the receiver takes a maximum amount of time and response time out is the waited time to respond to the transmitter.

Access Method

It is the method by which the host sends the data to and fro through the transmission medium.

Message Delivery

The message delivered from the sender can be done in three different ways namely unicast, multicast, and broadcast. When a host is connected to many clients then the message is delivered using the broadcast method. The One-to-one distribution of information to a single recipient is known as unicast, which suggests that there is just one target (single destination). Multicast suggests that a single sender is sending the same message to several destinations/recipients at the same time when communicating with a group of people (more than one person).


In the network protocol, with the help of the elements we cover every step of sending data from the transmitter to the client end. The structure for the message can be chosen by the host depending on their need for service. The syntax explains the format of the message, the semantic element to get the information of fields, and finally the timing of the message response.

Updated on: 26-Apr-2023


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