Lesson 2

What is a protocol?

  • A protocol is an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices.
  • The protocol determines the following:
    • the type of error checking to be used
    • data compression method
    • how the sending device will indicate that it has finished sending a message
    • how the receiving device will indicate that it has received a message
  • There are a variety of standard protocols each for a particular use
  • Your device must support the right protocol if you want to communicate with other devices
  • The protocol can be implemented either in hardware or in software

Brief history of the Internet?

Military Reasons

  • ARPA - Aim: Secure against destruction of nodes during the Cold War military purposes
  • 4 Computers connected together with packet switching (data is split into packets to arrive to destination)
  • 1973 - DARPA using TCP/IP = Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol
  • 1983 - Started internet (needed to be an expert to use)
  • 1983 to 1992 - More computers added: 727,000 (Used Unix)

Research Purposes

Commercial Purposes

  • 1989 - Proposal of the World Wide Web
  • 1992 - First Web Server in North America
  • Privatisation: Companies install local networks and buy connectivity to the backbone (main network connections composing the Internet)

What happens when you connect to the Internet?

  • When you connect to the Internet your computer becomes part of a network
  • First you must be subscribed to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) - gives you a username and password
  • Then you need to connect to your ISP either via the telephone line or dedicated lines such as the Cable Internet
  • When you connect to the ISP you become part of his network
  • The ISP connects to another larger network called the backbone
  • In this way you are connected to the Internet

Assignment 2

Send an e-mail with the following information:

To:   [email protected]
Subject:   your name, surname and class - assignment 2
Main Text:   List 3 names (both the acronynm and full name) of different network protocols and for each state what is their use


  • Webopedia Computer Dictionary (on-line): http://webopedia.com/TERM/p/protocol.html
  • Howstuff Works (on-line): http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet-infrastructure.htm
  • Ivan Buttigieg, A Complete Computer Course, Qrendi-Malta 2002
  • History Of The Internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8K49dD52WA