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Network Protocols

At the base of a network system is the physical topology. On top of that is the logical topology. And on top of the logical topology are protocols. If the idea of “on top of” or “beneath” doesn't make sense, don't worry; it's based on a system for describing how networks work, called the OSI model, which is described in the following section.

Just as a logical topology is, a protocol is a set of rules for sending and receiving data across a physical network. Logical topologies instruct the hardware on how to packetize and transmit data across the physical topology; protocols handle the translation of data from applications (that is, software) to the logical topology.


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