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What is Protocol? – Definition, Features, Types and More

What is Protocol? – Definition, Features, Types and More

Protocol Definition

The term protocol encompasses several meanings, while the most frequent and frequent use by the ordinary people refers to the set of behaviors and rules that a person must observe and respect when moving in specific official fields either for a matter of unique circumstance or because it holds a position that leads to transit through them.

Types of protocol


The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is used in all transactions that take place on the Internet since it has the definition of semantics and syntax that servers, proxies, and clients (all components of the web architecture) should use to establish a communication between them.

This is a protocol that is transaction oriented and is based on the “request-response” scheme, typical of a client (also called the user’s agent and can be, for example, an Internet browser) and a server. The information transmitted in this process is called a resource, identified through a URL ( Uniform Resource Locator ).


The File Transfer Protocol, meanwhile, is used when you want to send and receive files from one system to another, provided that both are based on the client-server architecture and are connected to a network that complies with TCP, explained in the definition of communication protocols. FTP allows a user to connect to a server to download or upload files, without the need for both computers to use the same operating system.


With a less known than the previous two name, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is used an untold number of times each day by users around the world as it shapes the message exchange email (also known as email or email ) among a wide range of devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers. This is an official standard whose operation is in the hands of email service providers. 


The Protocols Post Office or Post Office gives users the ability to receive and store email on a computer locally. Currently, the use of POP3, the most recent version, is preferred, since the first two are considered obsolete.

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Features of protocol

A protocol can be several things depending on the context in which one is, for example, a document that indicates how to act in a particular situation. Also called protocol is the set of social rules that set the behavior in public, for example, at a dinner. We usually know the treaty as the so-called label (to give some cases, chew food with your mouth shut or keep manners first).

The following are some of the many meanings that this term has:

  • Medicine: For medicine, protocol refers to clinical or preclinical trials that perform the evaluation of a new drug as well as to add some indication or characteristic to a drug already known and for sale. They are usually sources of knowledge that have some novelty for science. They can even exist in the branch of psychology, sociology, among others. Likewise, a treatment protocol is that document that has information about the patient to be treated and that serves as a guide for doctors when deciding how to continue with treatment or illness by taking the references granted by this paper.
  • International right:  In International Law, a protocol is an annex to an initial international treaty, that is, modification or extension to the original agreement. In some cases, as in the Kyoto Protocol that referred to climate change, the protocol itself was more celebrated and essential than the treaty in general.
  • Computer: For computer science and telecommunications, a communications protocol is the set of rules and standards that are intended to control the sequences of messages that occur in communication between entities that are part of the same network. Telephones or computers are some examples of these communications.
  • Internet Protocol: This is a communication protocol that has digital data that is classified functionally in the Network Layer following the international OSI model.
  • Research protocol. This is one that includes the objectives, design, methodology,  and specific considerations that must be taken into account to implement and organize research or scientific experiment. A protocol must consist of the background and the reasons why such an analysis is carried out. In turn, you must define under what parameters the results will be measured.

Add-ons to the protocol field

The Protocol can be defined as the set of regulations and legal provisions in force that, together with the uses, customs and traditions of the peoples, govern the celebration of official acts and, in many other cases, the party of laws of a private nature that they take as reference all these dispositions, uses, traditions and customs.

But it has to be complemented to cover all the needs that require the set of activities that take place when in official acts another series of events are carried out that must be regulated and organized. The public activities carried out by the authorities have more components than the mere protocol.

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