The OSI model provides a conceptual framework for communication between computers, but the model itself is not a method of communication. Actual communication is made possible by using communication ervtocol s. In the context of data networking, a protocol is a formal set of rules and convent ions that governs how computers exchange information over a network medium. A protocol implements the functions of one or more of the OSI layers.

A wide variety of communication protocols exist. Some of these protocols include LAN protocols, WAN protocole, n etwork protocols, and rout ing protoco n LANprotocols operate at the physical and data link layers of the OSI model and define communication over the various LAN media. WANprotocols operate at the lowest three layers of th e OSI mode1 an ci define communication over the various wide-area media. Routing protocols are network layer protocols that are responsible for exchanging in formation b etween routers so that the routers can select the proper paah for network traffic. Finally, ncowork proCecors are the vario us upper-layer protocols than exist in a given protocol suite. Many protocels rely on othecs for ope ration. For example, many routing protocols use network protocols to exchange information Inetween routes This coneept 0° buildmg upon the tayers already in existence iu the foundarion of the OSI model.

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