Thursday, 3 May 2012

Communication Protocols

Communication Protocols

Comprehensively explain protocols, devices and methods used in digital communication systems with elucidated examples and consistently using subject terminology correctly


In this essay I will be explaining the uses of communication protocols as communication protocols act as the rules and restrictions for digital communication. A protocol is in charge of enabling devices to communicate with each other by agreeing on formats. There are several different types of networks which have their own features and technologies to enable them to establish a connection. Here is a list of some of the types of networks; PAN (Personal Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), (WAN) Wide Area Network. Each of these types of networks has their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Internet

The way in which people are able to communicate over the internet is by the implementation of several protocols. The protocols such as “IP” (Internet protocol) enable users to communicate with other users computers. IP is tasked with setting the correct destination for each packet. The creation of the internet by Tim Berners-Lee has given birth to several different ways in which we communicate in modern society. One of the most common used platforms in which to communicate these days are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The birth of these platforms has resulted in people all over the world being able to communicate with people the other side of the world very easily and free of charge. Social networking sites such as Facebook enable users to post all text messages, photos and videos to a digital personal space. Everything posted on Facebook would then be able to be viewed and commented on by yours friends. The popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can also be used on most new portable devices such as phones and also Internet TVs. As mobile phones use 3G this essentially enables a user to be connected to the internet all of the time.

How emails are sent

The way in which emails are sent is by sending an electronic message from one to another server. There are various protocols which handle various different tasks to complete the transport of a message. For example SMTP is a protocol which manages the layout of email an email while the protocol POP3 manages the authentication of usernames , email addresses and password. The MUA (Mail User Agent) is in charge of retreiving an email and manipulating the email so that is ready the read by the user.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging is a communication system which enables users to communicate with other people connected to the internet in real-time. The social networking site Facebook has an instant messaging service which enables Facebook users to speak with their friends. Instant messaging is free as you only really require a wired or Wi-Fi connection to communicate. The disadvantage of instant messaging is that because it’s so widely used it’s often used as a platform in which to send computer viruses or steal sensitive information which you have posted to someone. Before instant messaging people would spend lots of time on the telephone which would of cost a lot of money. Instant messaging acts as a cheaper and more effective way in which to communicate with friends and family.

Web 2.0

The internet has enabled the birth of various other platforms in which we use to communicate with other people

Popular communication services which can be found on the internet are forums which are basically a discussion board on various topics consisting of a community which have registered to the forum. An example of forum is “Empire Movie Magazine Forum” which consists of topics about movies and the community would likely be film fans.

One of the most popular uses of the internet is Social Networking and the most popular social networking sites currently are Facebook and Twitter which basically acts a digital place in which you can communicate and socialize with your friends. Facebook is also a platform in which companies can advertise their products to their target audience which is done by analysing the data which the user has inputted to their profile.

The internet also acts a platform in which to conduct business as online businesses such as Ebay and Amazon act as a popular choice for consumers to buy from as its most of the time cheaper and more convenient.

The World Wide Web acts a huge platform in which an individual can obtain information on pretty much anything. The World Wide Web isn't as restricted as the media that you see on TV so user-generated content can be uploaded onto sites such as YouTube which wouldn't be allowed on national TV. This platform acts as powerful way in which to relay information to the world.


CoIP stands for conferencing over internet protocol and is a protocol which is used when more than two computers want to communicate using video and audio transmission at the same time. It’s a protocol which would be used when using software such as GoToMeeting which is video conferencing software.

3G is the 3rd generation in network communication technology as this enables mobile devices users to reach speeds a lot higher than previous generations as well as broadened security. 3G essentially enables all users to reach speeds of 10 mbps and are pretty much guaranteed a connection 24/7. Popular websites are often design a mobile interface for their website to enable their website to be easy to navigate on weird screen resolutions.

One of the advantages of 3G over Wi-Fi is that it has a larger range than Wi-Fi as a Wi-Fi connection can only be established if the device is within 15 meters but one of the advantages of Wi-Fi has over 3G is that it can establish a faster connection speed in most cases. Wi-Fi is also a lot cheaper than 3G and it also consumes a lot less battery life than 3G.


Bluetooth is a close range wireless technology which has a high level of security meaning that a security code would need to be inputted before any communication can be inputted. Bluetooth can be found on devices such as mobile phones and wireless headsets. On my previous course I created a security robot which was programmed to relay a detection message to an external device and the way I did this was to establish a connection via Bluetooth. Bluetooth is more energy efficient than Wi-Fi because it require less bandwidth to establish a connection so it’s a perfect network to use on devices such as wireless mice and keyboards as it consumes less battery life than Wi-Fi would as these wireless devices would likely require rechargeable batteries.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)

2G GSM is a technology which was created a replacement to 1G and has various advantages over 1G such as the network is a lot more stable than 1G as well as it uses digital signals instead of analogue which 1G uses. The quality of signals isn’t hindered that much inside buildings. GSM operates pretty much everywhere on the world so there aren’t any compatibility problems when travelling around the world apart from countries such as Japan. The disadvantages of GSM are that the signal can sometimes be disrupted by electronics. GSM is a shared network so in large populated areas you can experience a great deal of network lag as a result of lots of people using the network. GSM cannot be used on airplanes because the GSM signal can cause disruption to other electronics such as an airplanes radio. The advantages 3GSM have over 2G that it’s completely worldwide.

VoIP Protocols

Voice over internet protocol is a way in which people are able to communicate over the internet using a telephone which is free of charge. The type of data which transmitted when you talk on a phone is analogue audio signal which isn’t recognised on the internet so the VoIP converts the signal into a digital data which can be recognised. An analogue signal is a constant, always changing signal while a digital signal is a whole number value which can recognised by a computer.

The internet’s packet switching technology is used to establish a phone service between two computer systems. The transmission cost of an average phone call is only 128kbps which is hardly anything these days because of the growing implementation of fibre optic broadband.

The three most common services of VoIP currently are ATA (analogue telephone adaptor) which basically enables a normal telephone to use the VoIP service as ATA is basically an analogue to digital converter which enables it to work correctly.


There are various rules that protocols that are put in place to manage the communication between computers on a network. These rules include guidelines that regulate the access method, topologies, types of cabling, and speed of data transfer. Different protocols offer different speeds and range so this reflects in the topology in which it is used in. For example longer ranged topology would use a fast Ethernet topology which uses a fibre optic cabling.

Protocols between networks are designed and illustrated and layered in the OSI model. Different network methods have their place in the OSI model The LAN protocols can be put under the physical and data link layers of communications over various LAN media such as Ethernet wires and wireless radio waves. The WAN protocol is for the lowest three layers and defines communication over various wide-area media, such as fibre optic and copper cables.

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Twisted Pair, Coaxial, Fibre
10 Mbps
Linear Bus, Star, Tree
Fast Ethernet
Twisted Pair, Fibre
100 Mbps
Local Talk
Twisted Pair
23 Mbps
Linear Bus or Star
Token Ring
Twisted Pair
4 Mbps - 16 Mbps
Star-Wired Ring
100 Mbps
Dual ring
Twisted Pair, Fibre
155-2488 Mbps
Linear Bus, Star, Tree

Importance of Network Protocols

Network Protocol is needed because the message or data sent by networks have to reach their destinations by going through different networks of different structure and different platform. Network protocols are performing the duty to make our sent data compatible to the new networks. They also help create a standard of communication, such as TCP/IP. This is used to enable different operating systems to talk to each other over a network. So the main significance of the network protocols is compatibility of networks over the internet.

Network Protocols and network topologies

OSI Model

The OSI model is the standard architecture for modern Communication systems. More on blog:

Network Devices in Weymouth College

More on blog:

Digital Communication Techniques & Services


HTML stands for hypertext mark-up language and is a scripting language which is used by software developers. Authoring software such as Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 is a program which enables the user creates webpages using HTML code. Adobe Dreamweaver has a feature which enables users to create a webpage in design view which basically involves importing content to the stage and the code is written for you.  HTML is a scripting language which is supported by pretty much every internet browser.

HTTP Secure

HTTP secure stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure and are a security protocol which provides encrypted communication between a user and webserver. This protocol prevents any unauthorised eavesdropping from external sources. This protocol Is implemented on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and eBay which require the user to type in their credit card details.

CSS (Cascading Style sheets)

CSS files are in charge of several parts of a webpage for example properties such as type of font, font size and positioning of content. CSS files would be targeted in a HTML document and would be located in the same director as the HTML document.

CSS reduces the amount of HTML code a website requires and therefore vastly decreases page sizes and bandwidth usage.

The CSS code is also a lot smaller which ultimately means less bandwidth.CSS gives the developer much better control over the layout of your web pages.


HTML 5 is the newest version of HTML and offers many new features such as more collaboration with multimedia content. HTML 5 is very similar to flash as Flash websites offer a unique rich media feel. HTML 5 is has been implemented into most modern internet browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. Users who are using older operating systems such as Windows XP wouldn’t be able to view HTML 5 content.

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