List of 110+ Network Protocols – Explained!

In today’s interconnected world, network protocols play a crucial role in enabling seamless communication and data exchange between devices and systems. These protocols form the backbone of our digital infrastructure, allowing us to browse the web, send emails, stream multimedia content, and much more. Understanding the diverse landscape of network protocols is essential for professionals and enthusiasts alike who seek to comprehend the inner workings of the internet and computer networks.

In this article, we present a comprehensive guide to essential network protocols. From the ubiquitous HTTP and TCP to the specialized protocols used in industrial automation and IoT, we explore the purpose, functionality, and significance of each protocol. Our aim is to demystify the world of network protocols and provide a human-friendly explanation of their key features and applications.

Whether you’re a networking professional, a student studying computer science, or simply an individual intrigued by the intricate mechanisms that power our digital interactions, this article will serve as a valuable resource. We invite you to embark on this journey through the realm of network protocols, gaining insights into the protocols that shape our modern digital landscape and empower our daily connectivity.

So, let’s dive into the world of network protocols, unravel their mysteries, and discover the foundation upon which our interconnected world is built.

List of network protocols

Protocol Explanation
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is used for transmitting hypertext documents on the web.
HTTPS HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an encrypted version of HTTP for secure browsing.
FTP File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to transfer files between a client and a server.
SFTP Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is an encrypted extension of FTP for secure file transfers.
SSH Secure Shell (SSH) provides secure remote access to a computer over an unsecured network.
Telnet Telnet allows remote terminal access to a computer or networking device.
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is used for sending emails over the internet.
POP3 Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) is used by email clients to retrieve messages from a server.
IMAP Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) allows email clients to access and manage emails on a server.
DNS Domain Name System (DNS) translates domain names to IP addresses for network communication.
DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) assigns IP addresses automatically to devices on a network.
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) manages and monitors network devices and their performance.
ICMP Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) supports error reporting and diagnostics on IP networks.
ARP Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) maps IP addresses to MAC addresses on a local network.
RARP Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) maps MAC addresses to IP addresses on a local network.
IP Internet Protocol (IP) is responsible for addressing and routing data packets across networks.
TCP Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) ensures reliable and ordered delivery of data packets.
UDP User Datagram Protocol (UDP) provides a connectionless and lightweight data transfer mechanism.
ICMPv6 ICMP version 6 (ICMPv6) is used for error reporting and diagnostics in IPv6 networks.
IPsec IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) provides secure communication over IP networks.
BGP Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is used for exchanging routing information between autonomous systems.
OSPF Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) is an interior gateway routing protocol used in IP networks.
RIP Routing Information Protocol (RIP) is a distance-vector routing protocol for small networks.
EIGRP Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) is a Cisco proprietary routing protocol.
IS-IS Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS) is a link-state routing protocol.
VLAN Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) is a logical division of a network into multiple broadcast domains.
STP Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) prevents loops in Ethernet networks to ensure loop-free paths.
VTP VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) manages the creation and deletion of VLANs in a network.
PPP Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) establishes a direct connection between two nodes over a serial link.
HDLC High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) is a synchronous serial data link layer protocol.
SLIP Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) provides a basic encapsulation mechanism for IP packets.
MPLS Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) enables efficient packet forwarding in IP networks.
ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a cell-switching network technology for high-speed data transfer.
Frame Relay Frame Relay is a packet-switching network protocol used to connect devices in a wide area network.
PPPoE PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE) allows the transmission of PPP frames over Ethernet networks.
L2TP Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) creates virtual private networks (VPNs) over public networks.
IPX Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) is a network layer protocol used in Novell NetWare networks.
NetBIOS Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) provides services for naming and browsing on a network.
SMB Server Message Block (SMB) enables file and printer sharing between devices in a network.
DNSSEC DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) provide cryptographic authentication and integrity for DNS responses.
NTP Network Time Protocol (NTP) synchronizes the clocks of computers on a network.
DHCPv6 DHCP version 6 (DHCPv6) is used to automatically configure IPv6 addresses on a network.
RADIUS Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) provides centralized authentication for network access.
LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) enables accessing and maintaining directory information.
SNMPv3 SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3) provides secure and authenticated management of network devices.
RIPng RIP Next Generation (RIPng) is an extension of RIP for routing IPv6 traffic.
BGP4+ BGP version 4+ (BGP4+) is an extension of BGP for supporting additional features and scalability.
HSRP Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) provides network redundancy by electing a standby router.
VRRP Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) enables router redundancy in a network.
GLBP Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) allows load balancing among multiple routers in a network.
SSHv2 SSH version 2 (SSHv2) is an updated and more secure version of the SSH protocol.
SSL/TLS Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) provides secure communication over the internet.
PPTP Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) creates VPNs over public networks.
GRE Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) is used for encapsulating various protocols over IP networks.
IPsec VPN IPsec Virtual Private Network (IPsec VPN) creates secure tunnels for remote access to private networks.
L2TP/IPsec L2TP/IPsec combines the features of L2TP and IPsec to create secure VPN connections.
IKEv2 Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) provides secure key exchange for IPsec VPNs.
WireGuard WireGuard is a modern and lightweight VPN protocol that aims for simplicity and security.
SCTP Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) provides reliable and ordered message delivery.
QUIC Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC) is a transport layer protocol that provides secure and efficient communication.
DCCP Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP) provides unreliable transport with congestion control.
RTSP Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) controls streaming media servers and clients.
RTP Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) delivers audio and video over IP networks.
RTCP Real-Time Control Protocol (RTCP) works alongside RTP to provide control and feedback for multimedia streams.
SIP Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is used for initiating, modifying, and terminating multimedia sessions.
XMPP Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) enables real-time communication and presence information.
MQTT Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is a lightweight protocol for IoT device communication.
CoAP Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is designed for resource-constrained IoT devices.
AMQP Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) is used for reliable messaging between applications.
DNS over HTTPS DNS over HTTPS (DoH) provides encrypted DNS resolution over HTTPS connections.
DNS over TLS DNS over TLS (DoT) secures DNS traffic by encapsulating it within TLS connections.
DNSCrypt DNSCrypt encrypts DNS traffic between clients and resolvers for privacy and security.
NTP over TLS NTP over TLS (NTPS) secures time synchronization by encrypting NTP packets within TLS connections.
WebSockets WebSockets enables full-duplex communication between a web browser and a server.
IGMP Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) manages IP multicast group memberships.
UPnP Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) allows devices to discover and interact with each other on a network.
SSDP Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) enables network devices to advertise their services.
PTP Precision Time Protocol (PTP) synchronizes clocks in a network with high accuracy.
LDAP over SSL/TLS LDAP over SSL/TLS secures LDAP communication by encrypting it within SSL/TLS connections.
NFS Network File System (NFS) allows remote file access and sharing over a network.
SMB/CIFS SMB/CIFS provides file and printer sharing, authentication, and authorization in Windows networks.
H.323 H.323 is a protocol suite for multimedia communication over IP networks.
SIP-T SIP-T (SIP Tunneling) allows SIP traffic to traverse through networks with restricted protocols.
iSCSI Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) enables the transmission of SCSI commands over IP networks.
Fibre Channel Fibre Channel provides high-speed data transfer and communication between servers and storage devices.
iSNS Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) enables automated discovery, management, and configuration of iSCSI devices.
PGM Pragmatic General Multicast (PGM) is a reliable multicast protocol for data distribution.
SLP Service Location Protocol (SLP) enables the discovery and advertisement of network services.
TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is a simple protocol for transferring files over a network.
LACP Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) bundles multiple physical links into a logical link for increased bandwidth.
LLDP Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) enables network devices to exchange information about their capabilities.
CAPWAP Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) manages and configures wireless access points in a network.
RADIUS Accounting RADIUS Accounting provides accounting and auditing services for network access.
SSH File Transfer SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) allows secure file transfer between systems over SSH connections.
AMT Active Management Technology (AMT) provides out-of-band management for remote computer systems.
Modbus Modbus is a communication protocol for industrial automation and control systems.
PROFIBUS PROFIBUS is a standard for fieldbus communication in process automation and manufacturing.
EtherNet/IP EtherNet/IP combines Ethernet and Internet Protocol to provide communication in industrial automation.
OPC UA OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a machine-to-machine communication protocol for industrial automation.
CAN Controller Area Network (CAN) is a protocol used in automotive and industrial applications for communication between devices.
Zigbee Zigbee is a wireless communication protocol for low-power IoT devices.
Z-Wave Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol designed for home automation applications.
LoRaWAN LoRaWAN is a long-range, low-power wireless protocol for IoT devices in wide-area networks.
Thread Thread is a low-power, mesh networking protocol for IoT devices in home automation.
BLE Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a wireless protocol for short-range communication between devices.
NFC Near Field Communication (NFC) enables contactless communication between devices over short distances.
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi is a wireless networking protocol that allows devices to connect to local area networks.
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a wireless protocol for connecting devices in close proximity to each other.
5G 5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology that provides high-speed wireless communication.
LTE Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a wireless communication standard for high-speed mobile data transmission.
GSM Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a cellular network protocol for voice and data transmission.
CDMA Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a cellular network protocol used for digital communication.
VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enables voice communication over IP networks.
SIP Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol used for initiating, modifying, and terminating multimedia sessions.
RTP Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) is used for delivering audio and video over IP networks.
RTCP Real-Time Control Protocol (RTCP) works alongside RTP to provide control and feedback for multimedia streams.
MGCP Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) is used for controlling media gateways in VoIP networks.
H.323 H.323 is a protocol suite for multimedia communication over IP networks.
SCCP Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) is a signaling protocol used in Cisco IP phones.
ENUM ENUM is a protocol that maps telephone numbers to internet resources for unified communication.
Fax over IP Fax over IP (FoIP) enables fax transmission over IP networks using protocols like T.38.
V.150.1 V.150.1 is a protocol for carrying voice and fax over IP networks.
IAX Inter-Asterisk Exchange (IAX) is a signaling protocol for communication between Asterisk VoIP servers.
RTP/RTSP Proxy RTP/RTSP Proxy allows proxy servers to handle RTP and RTSP protocols for multimedia streaming.
MGCP Megaco MGCP Megaco is a protocol for controlling media gateways and session controllers in VoIP networks.
H.248 MEGACO H.248 Megaco is a protocol for controlling media gateways in VoIP networks.
BICC Bearer Independent Call Control (BICC) is a protocol for controlling voice and data calls in telecommunications networks.

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