Internet of everything
Internet of everything

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Internet of everything

3.1.6 Protocol suite

Networking protocol suites describe processes, such as:

  • the format or structure of the message
  • the method by which networking devices share information about pathways with other networks
  • how and when error and system messages are passed between devices
  • the set-up and termination of data transfer sessions.

Protocol suites can be implemented in hardware or software, or a combination of both. Each layer is responsible for part of the processing to prepare data for transmission across the network.

One of the most common networking protocol suites is known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). All devices that communicate across the Internet must use the TCP/IP protocol suite. Specifically, they must all use the IP protocol from the Internet layer of the stack, as this allows them to send and receive data over the Internet.

The TCP/IP model describes the rules that the TCP/IP protocol suite encompasses. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) defines the TCP/IP model. To learn more about the layers of the TCP/IP model see Table 1.

Table _unit3.1.1 Table 1 Layers of the TCP/IP model

This layer includes many applications that can communicate with the network including web browsers, email programs, and file sharing programs. TCP operates at this layer managing the conversations between, for example, web servers and web browsers. TCP is also responsible for dividing the data into segments to be sent down to the Internet layer. IP operates at this layer encapsulating each segment into a packet with source and destination addressing information. Ethernet is one of the primary access methods for transmitting data over a physical link. Standards, such as 802.11, define the access method for wireless devices.
Application Transport Internet Network access

Objects that are IP-enabled, meaning that necessary TCP/IP software is installed, will have the ability to forward data across the Internet directly.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus