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Application Layer

Definition - What does Application Layer mean?

The application layer is a layer in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) seven-layer model and in the TCP/IP protocol suite. It consists of protocols that focus on process-to-process communication across an IP network and provides a firm communication interface and end-user services.

Techopedia explains Application Layer

The application layer is the seventh layer of the OSI model and the only one that directly interacts with the end user.

The application layer provides many services, including:

  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  • File transfer
  • Web surfing
  • Web chat
  • Email clients
  • Network data sharing
  • Virtual terminals
  • Various file and data operations

The application layer provides full end-user access to a variety of shared network services for efficient OSI model data flow. This layer has many responsibilities, including error handling and recovery, data flow over a network and full network flow. It is also used to develop network-based applications.

More than 15 protocols are used in the application layer, including File Transfer Protocol, Telnet, Trivial File Transfer Protocol and Simple Network Management Protocol.

Its major network device or component is the gateway.

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