1.1 – What is a Protocol?

Protocol in Simple English

Protocol in plain English means set of rules to communicate. It is kind of rules that need to be followed to achieve a desired results.

Imagine, If I speak only English Language and you want to communicate with me.

Then the protocol we can use to communicate with each other could be:

  1. Body Language
  2. Sign Language
  3. English Language

They all are called as Protocol. It is the medium thru which we agree to communicate to each other.

So, if you know English then you can communicate with me in English Language and that is our Protocol to communicate.

Protocol are set of rules to communicate.

How Two Systems Communicate?

Imagine two systems want to communicate with each other and exchange data. How do they communicate with others. All they know is 0 and 1.

That’s where the protocol comes and helps.

Two systems has to first agree on a common protocol. They should know what rules they are going to follow to communicate with each other.

There should be some kind of instructions that are predefined when followed a communication can be made.

So, before two computers decide to communicate they agree on a common protocol and based on that protocol definition they communicate with each other.

Types of Protocols

There are many types of protocol available today using which two devices communicate with other.

Do this exercise:

Just look around all the devices that communicate with other in your house. Think for a second how they communicate with other and what protocol they use.

To understand the definition of protocol you need to understand and see how two devices really communicate with each other.

What kind of rules or instructions they follow to communicate?

Here are some of the examples that shows how the two devices uses a specific protocol to communicate with each others.

Wifi Protocol: This protocol helps connect your mobile phone to your Wifi Devices and access the Internet.

FTP Protocol: This FTP Protocol can help to access any server’s file system and perform the file operations on it like Upload, Download, Delete and Rename the files.

Email Protocol: This is the most common protocol we use everyday to send and receive emails.

Depending on the type of communication, the underlying protocol will change. Each Protocol is defined to achieve a specific type of result when followed.

So, Protocol is nothing but a set of rules that when followed a specific operation is performed.

Common examples as we have seen above like Wifi Protocol, FTP Protocol and Email Protocol are used to do a specific Job.

Technical Definition

Protocol is a set of rules when followed by the system to perform a specific activity.

Protocol can also be defined as set of rules and standards used to communicate between machines.

Communication Protocol can be used to communicate and exchange information between one or more system connected together.

Example of Communication Protocol are Wifi Protocol, FTP Protocol or Email Protocol.

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