What are the Network protocol requirements in the communication process?

Network communication is nothing but a conversation between two persons. Let us consider a real life situation, for two people to communicate effectively, the first and foremost requirement is language.

If they both do not know a common language communication is simply not possible. They will first say 'Hi', 'How are you' etc and do a handshake.

Similar to this, in computer communication, for two computers to effectively communicate we need the following −

  • Set of procedures for handshaking

  • Set of rules for interpreting the data sent

  • Steps for recovery if communication is broken in the middle.

Network protocols are a set of standards which facilitate error-free communication between computers.

Requirements for Network Protocol

A good network protocol will meet the following requirements −

  • Addressing − A unique address is assigned (names can also be assigned to computers) to each computer. This address is used in the communication packet.

  • Data Exchange Format − Data should be formatted in well-defined packets and sent across the network. Data packet header area contains the fields with relevance to the operation of the protocol. Payload contains the message sent by the application running on the computers.

  • Error Recovery − Error detection is must on networks where data corruption is possible. Network protocols suggest the use of CRC to detect and recover network errors.

  • Routing − When systems are not directly connected, intermediary systems forward messages to the receiver. These are called routers.

In addition to the above mentioned major requirements, the protocol will also define standards for the Sequencing, Flow Control and Congestion Control.

IP protocol provides addressing, routing etc. TCP is connection oriented which includes error recovery. UCP is connected less where error handling is left to the application layer.

The necessity of Network Protocols

The necessity of network protocols for communication is as follows −

  • Network protocols are a set of rules and regulations which are helpful for transferring a data packet from one host to another.

  • The main use of such a network protocol is to transfer the data safely and efficiently.

  • Suppose, if there are no network protocols, the data may not be able to send or to receive.

  • To transfer data, the protocols are must.

  • It is the protocol who decides how to make the data into packets, how to start the transferring, where to route the packet and where to reach it.

  • In the receiver side also, it is the network protocol who is responsible for receiving the correct data packet.