A protocol is a set of rules that govern how devices communicate on a network. It is a standard that defines the format, timing, sequence, and error-checking of data that is transmitted between devices.
Protocols are used to ensure that devices on a network are able to exchange information in a consistent and reliable manner. Different protocols may be used for different types of network communication, depending on the requirements of the application or service that is sending and receiving the data.
For example, the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a widely-used protocol for reliable, connection-oriented communication on a network. It is often used for applications that require guaranteed delivery of data, such as email or web browsing.
In contrast, the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is a protocol that is used for connection less communication on a network. It is often used for applications that require low-latency communication, such as real-time audio or video streaming.
In summary, protocols are sets of rules that define how devices communicate on a network. They are used to ensure that data is transmitted and received in a consistent and reliable manner, and different protocols may be used for different types of network communication.