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Internet Protocols

Internet Protocols

Internet Protocols (set of instructions) are used to transfer files or data from one machine to the other. All computers on the Internet communicate with each other using the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Thus, data is sent from the server to the client (and vice-versa) using TCP/IP.

Typically, the client is your browser and the server is a program running on a different computer. You use the browser on your computer (called the client machine in Internet lingo) to access the information on another computer (called the server machine). This server machine could be located thousands of miles from your workplace.

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In addition to TCP/IP, there are many other protocols such as the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) used in FTP applications and the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) employed on the World Wide Web.

The File Transfer Protocol

The File Transfer Protocol is an excellent method to transfer (download and send) files from one computer to the other on the Internet. Though you can transfer files using email, it is not a good choice especially when the file size is large or when you need to transfer several files. The objectives of FTP are to:

  • promote file (programs or data) sharing
  • efficiently transfer data from one computer to another
  • encourage indirect or implicit use of remote computers
  • provide a common platform for file storages among different hosts

Know more about FTP – The File Transfer Protocol

The HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol

The HTTP provides a set of instructions for accurate information exchange. The communication between the client (your browser) and the server (a software located on a remote computer) involves requests sent by the client and responses from the server.
Detailed article on the HTTP Protocol

The telnet Protocol

The Telnet protocol allows you to connect to another machine. Once connected, your computer behaves like a terminal of the distant machine and you can utilize all the resources on the remote system if you have the required permissions.
Details of the telnet Protocol

Some older Internet protocols

Protocols such as Gopher, Archie etc. were used extensively on the Internet. But now they have faded into oblivion; why? Thanks to the WWW. You can read more about Archie, Gopher, Veronica and Jughead in the History of the Internet article.

The email Protocol

Email is the most used application on the Internet. Emails allow users to communicate with each other almost instantly. Each email message consists of a header and a body. The header contains the following information:

  • Recipient email address
  • Senders email address
  • Email address of the people to whom a carbon copy (Cc) and blind carbon copy (Bcc) has been sent.
  • The subject line
  • The main text message resides in the email body.

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