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3.5: Protocols

Exam Board:

Eduqas / WJEC


2020 + 

What is a protocol?

A protocol is a set of rules that allow devices on a network to communicate with each other.

TCP / IP is actually two separate protocols that combine together.


(Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol)

​TCP is a protocol that allows packets to be sent and received between computer systems.


It breaks the data into packets and reassembles them back into the original data at the destination.


IP is a protocol in charge of routing and addressing data packets. This ensures data packets are sent across networks to the correct destination.


It is also an addressing system - every device on a network is given a unique IP address so data packets can be sent to the correct computer system.

HTTP is used to transfer web pages over the Internet so that users can view them in a web browser.


All URLs start with either HTTP or HTTPS

HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP that works with another protocol called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to transfer encrypted data.


You should see a padlock symbol in the URL bar if your connection to that website is secure.


(Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Ethernet is a protocol for wired connections.


Ethernet is used at both the data link and physical layers to describe how network devices can format data packets for transmission.


WiFi is the main standard for wireless connections.


WiFi is actually a brand name that uses a protocol called IEEE 802.11.


Another wireless standard is Bluetooth, for short-range data transfer.

Connection Protocols

Transfer Protocols

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used to transfer files across a network.


It is commonly used to upload or download files to/from a web server.


SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a protocol used to send emails to a mail server and between mail servers.

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Questo's Questions

3.5 - Protocols:


1. Describe each of the following protocolsIt might be helpful to also draw an icon or small diagram for each one:

  • a. TCP [2]

  • b. IP [2]

  • c. HTTP & HTTPS [3]

  • d. WiFi  (802.11) [1]

  • e. Ethernet [2]

  • f. FTP [2]

  • g. SMTP [2]

2. State which protocol would be used in the following scenarios:

  • a. Transferring a music file to a friend over the internet. [1]

  • b. Sending an email to a family member in America. [1]

  • c. Using a wireless connection to play a mobile game. [1]

  • d. Using a webpage to enter a password securely. [1]

  • e. Watching a video on YouTube. [1]

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