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Networking and Data Transmission


A protocol is a defined set of rules that govern the transmission of data.

Every protocol has two main parts; logical and physical.
Examples of rules include a decided odd or even parity check and bit rate.
Both devices must use the same rules to communicate or data transmission will not work

OSI Model
The Open Systems Interconnection model is the main way of standardising all of the main
procedures executed by every networking protocol. It has 7 layers:
1. Physical this is the hardware and physical components of a network.
Examples include Ethernet, RJ45 and actual signals such as a light wave, radio signal or an
electrical impulse in the wire. They can all send actual, organised bits of data (00110101).
2. Data Link data encoding and decoding is handled in this layer. There are two sub layers;
Media Access Control (MAC) and Logical Link Control (LLC). Examples include AppleTALK
DDP, IP, IPX Protocols.
3. Network this layer includes packet and circuit switching, it creates logical paths for the
data to be sent along and it also processes error handling.
4. Transport this provides data transfer between hosts on the network like servers,
routers, default gateways for example. Hosts distribute files and data in the form of data
packets (bits and bytes) to any client devices on the network with the appropriate
5. Session Establishes, manages and terminates communications between applications on
the system. Examples of protocols are SQL, NFS and NetBIOS names.
6. Presentation Avoids and handles data corruption on the network due to the use of
different rules or protocols being used by different applications. It does this by translating
from network to application protocol format, and vice versa.
7. Application this is the layer that the user most closely interacts with the user. It supports
application and end user processes, considers user permissions, authentication and privacy,
and everything that happens at this layer is application specific. Protocols include World
Wide Web, Hypertext Transfer Protocol and File Transfer Protocol. This layer can also use
multithreaded application architecture.

Bit rate the rate at which bits of data are transmitted (as binary) across the network from one
device to another. Definition is Number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time.

Baud rate another method of measuring speed over a network, using symbols to represent a
certain number of bits.
If 1 symbol = 2 bits/s, then 1 baud = 2 bits/s
If 1 symbol = 4 bits/s, then 1 baud = 4 bits/s
What 1 symbol is equal to must be defined in the initial establishment of the protocol between two
devices when they first connect.

Streaming As soon as the data is received from a remote server over the internet it is sent to
the CPU for processing and then to the user for immediate content consumption. If data is too slow
to arrive, the stream will pause, degrade in quality or stop altogether. User receives the data as fast
as the internet connection and other system hardware will allow.

Error Correction if an error occurs, the data is sent again.

Echoing Data is sent back from the transmitting device to check to see if it was the
original one that got sent. They are compared, if they match, the data is assumed to have
arrived not corrupted at the other end.
Check sums data is added together before it is sent. That total is sent with the data, then
the data is added again at the other end and the two sums are compared to see if they are
equal. If they are not, the data is corrupt.
Parity check data packets must have a fixed byte size (7 bits + 1 parity). During initial
device contact, odd or even parity is decided. Only one bit (the parity bit) can change to
make the number either odd or even.

Packet switching Data packets each take a different route, therefore it is harder to hack
than circuit switching. It is encrypted and therefore a good, secure method of data transmission.

Circuit switching Data packets each take the same route, therefore it is easier to hack
because the data could arrive anywhere in the order that it was sent. It is not encrypted, therefore
not as secure as packet switching.

Simplex One way data transmission, this is slow and impractical for some applications.
Duplex Both directions at the same time, therefore data transmission is faster and more CPU
Half Duplex Both directions but not at the same time, therefore it is good for specific applications
such as walkie talkies and SMS messaging.

(n.d.). Retrieved from Teach ICT:
(n.d.). Retrieved from Webopedia:
(n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Chris Leadbetter, A. B. (n.d.). OCR Computing for A Level.