Network protocols are standards that allow computers to communicate. A protocol defines how computers identify one another on a network, the form that the data should take in transit, and how this information is processed once it reaches its final destination. Protocols also define procedures for handling lost or damaged transmissions or "packets." TCP/IP (for UNIX, Windows NT, Windows 95 and other platforms), IPX (for Novell NetWare), DECnet (for networking Digital Equipment Corp. computers), AppleTalk (for Macintosh computers), and NetBIOS/NetBEUI (for LAN Manager and Windows NT networks) are the main types of network protocols in use today.
Although each network protocol is different, they all share the same physical cabling. This common method of accessing the physical network allows multiple protocols to peacefully coexist over the network media, and allows the builder of a network to use common hardware for a variety of protocols. This concept is known as "protocol independence,"
Some Important Protocols and their job:
Protocol Acronym Its Job
Point-To-Point TCP/IP The backbone protocol of the internet. Popular also for intranets using the internet
Transmission Control Protocol/internet Protocol TCP/IP The backbone protocol of the internet. Popular also for intranets using the internet
Internetwork Package Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange IPX/SPX This is a standard protocol for Novell Network Operating System
NetBIOS Extended User Interface NetBEUI This is a Microsoft protocol that doesn’t support routing to other networks
File Transfer Protocol FTP Used to send and receive files from a remote host
Hyper Transfer Protocol HTTP Used for the web to send documents that are encoded in HTML.
Network File Services NFS Allows network nodes or workstations to access files and drives as if they were their own.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol SMTP Used to send Email over a network
Telnet Used to connect to a host and emulate a terminal that the remote server can recognize