Presentation Layer

What Does Presentation Layer Mean?

The presentation layer is layer 6 of the 7-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. It is used to present data to the application layer (layer 7) in an accurate, well-defined and standardized format.

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The presentation layer is sometimes called the syntax layer.

Techopedia Explains Presentation Layer

The presentation layer is responsible for the following:

  • Data encryption/decryption
  • Character/string conversion
  • Data compression
  • Graphic handling

The presentation layer mainly translates data between the application layer and the network format. Data can be communicated in different formats via different sources. Thus, the presentation layer is responsible for integrating all formats into a standard format for efficient and effective communication.

The presentation layer follows data programming structure schemes developed for different languages and provides the real-time syntax required for communication between two objects such as layers, systems or networks. The data format should be acceptable by the next layers; otherwise, the presentation layer may not perform correctly.

Network devices or components used by the presentation layer include redirectors and gateways.

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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.