Protocols and the OSI Model

This section describes the OSI model and protocols used in internetworking. As an introduction, imagine that you are in Toronto and you want to send an e-mail to your friend in San Francisco. Successfully sending and receiving e-mail involves doing many things, including the following:

■ You must type the message in your e-mail application.

■ You must address the message in your e-mail application.

■ You must click the Send button in your e-mail application to start sending the message.

■ You must use the correct type of connections and wires to connect your PC to your local network.

■ Your PC must be able to connect to the Internet, and you must provide any necessary login information.

■ Network devices must find the best path through the Internet so that the e-mail is received by the right person.

The following section introduces the OSI model, a model that describes all these communication functions and their relationships with each other.

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