Protocol

What Does Protocol Mean?

A protocol is a set of rules and guidelines for communicating data. Rules are defined for each step and process during communication between two or more computers. Networks have to follow these rules to successfully transmit data.

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Techopedia Explains Protocol

Similar to programming languages, protocols are based on specific rules and regulations for computing and are designed for efficiency. Each rule is defined in different terms and is assigned a unique name. Protocols specify the standards for communication and provide detailed information on processes involved in data transmission. Such processes include:

  • Type of task
  • Process nature
  • Data flow rate
  • Data type
  • Device management

A single process can be handled by more than one protocol simultaneously. This coordination of protocols creates a protocol family.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.