Xerox Network Systems

What Does Xerox Network Systems Mean?

Xerox Network Systems (XNS) is a set of protocols that were used by Xerox Systems for data communication. Xerox used XNS for file transfers, sharing network resources, packet transfers, sharing routing information and remote procedure calls. Its basic working mechanism is almost the same as in the TCP/IP protocol suit, but XNS contains only two network layers. This differs from the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, although the functionality is basically the same.


XNS was a public domain technology and therefore became one of the most commonly used networking technologies through 1980s. It was replaced by the Internet Protocol suite.

Techopedia Explains Xerox Network Systems

The XNS protocol suite became very popular right after its launch in the early 1980s and has been used by many local area networks, particularly for large companies. Over time, changes were made the the protocol structure to create a more efficient output.

XNS contains two major layers, a network layer and a transport layer. The network layer provides the packet-carrying service and logical addressing. XNS was developed for many purposes, such as office applications, transmissions, communication media and processors. There is an echo protocol inside the XNS suite, which works as a door knocker, checking the connectivity between the two systems. This is similar to ping in IP systems.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…