Common Network Protocols and Their Ports

Posted on August 4th, 2016

There are many protocols while establishing a connection in the internet. According to the type of connection need to be established, the protocols used varies. The protocols define the characteristics of the connection. Let’s see what a protocol is.


Network Protocol

Simply, a protocol is a set of rules. A network protocol is a set of rules followed by the network. Network protocols are formal standards and policies made up of rules, procedures and formats that defines communication between two or more devices over a network. Network protocols conducts the action, policies, and affairs of the end-to-end process of timely, secured and managed data or network communication. They define rules and conventions for communication. They incorporate all the processes requirement and constraints of initiating and accomplishing communication between computers, routers, servers and other network enabled devices. Network protocols must be confirmed and installed by the sender and receiver to ensure network\data communication. It also applies software and hardware nodes that communicate on a network. There are several types of network protocols.


Internet Protocol Suite

Internet protocol suite is the set of communication protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the internet runs. The Internet protocol suite is sometimes called the TCP/IP protocol suite, after TCP\IP, which refers to the important protocols in it, the Transmission Control Protocol(TCP) and the Internet Protocol(IP). The Internet protocol suite can be described by the analogy with the OSI model, but there are some differences. Also not all of the layers correspond well.


Protocol Stack

A protocol stack is the complete set of protocol layers that work together to provide networking capabilities.


Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

The Transmission Control Protocol is the core protocol of the internet protocol suite. It originated in the network implementation in which it complemented the Internet Protocol. Therefore the entire suite is commonly referred to as TCP/IP. TCP provides reliable delivery of a stream of octets over an IP network. Ordering and error-checking are main characteristics of the TCP. All major Internet applications such as World Wide Web, email and file transfer rely on TCP.


Internet Protocol(IP)

The Internet Protocol is the principal protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying data across networks. Its routing function essentially establishes the internet. Historically it was the connectionless datagram service in the original Transmission Control Program; the other being the connection oriented protocol(TCP). Therefore, the Internet protocol suite is referred as TCP/IP.


Common Protocols Used and Their Ports

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. The hypertext is structured text that uses hyperlinks between nodes containing texts. The HTTP is the application protocol for distributed and collaborative hypermedia information system.

The default port of HTTP is 80 and 443 is the secured port.


File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The FTP is the most common protocol used in the file transferring in the Internet and within private networks.

The default port of FTP is 20/21.


Secured Shell (SSH)

SSH is the primary method used to manage the network devices securely at the command level. It usually used as the alternative of the Telnet which does not support secure connections.

The default port of SSH is 22.



Telnet is the primary method used to manage network devices at the command level. Unlike SSH, Telnet does not provide a secure connection, but it provides a basic unsecured connection.

The default port of Telnet is 23.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

SMTP is used for two primary functions. It is used to transfer email from source to destination between mail servers and it is used to transfer email from end users to a mail system.

The default port of SMTP is 25 and secured (SMTPS) is 465 (Not standard).


Domain Name System (DNS)

Domain name system is used to convert the domain name to IP address. There are root servers, TLDs and authoritative servers in the DNS hierarchy.

The default port of DNS is 53.


Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP 3)

The Post Office Protocol version 3 is one of the two main protocols used to retrieve mail from the internet. It is very simple as it allows the client to retrieve complete content from the server mail box and deletes contents from the server.

The default port of POP3 is 110 and secured is 995.


Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

IMAP version 3 is another main protocol that used to retrieve mail from a server. IMAP does not delete the content from the mail box of the server.

The default port of IMAP is 143 and secured is 993.


Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

The Simple Network Management Protocol is used to manage networks. It has abilities to monitor, configure and control network devices. SNMP traps can also be configured on network devices to notify a central server when specific action are occurring.

The default port of SNMP is 161/162.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol over SSL/TLS (HTTPS)

HTTPS is used with HTTP to provide same services, but with a secured connection which is provided by SSL or TLS.

The default port of HTTPS is 443.


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6 Responses to “Common Network Protocols and Their Ports”

  1. Nagarajan says:

    What is widely used protocols? In every places

  2. Thomas says:

    I’m a former COBOL db2 programmer from the early 90s who left the industry in the late nineties and now is re-entering trying to obtain A+ Network certifications, I’m a little bit dumbfounded with respect to the number of protocols and ports used for internet communications, how do specific protocols and ports affect an application programmer or a networker and could you give me some simplistic modern-day examples of both

  3. Rob says:

    Thank goodness for this, didn’t know what IMAP did before.

  4. shaikhah says:

    Thanks that was clearly, could you please explain also the rest of protocols ?

  5. Chantell says:

    thank really learnt a lot

  6. satnam ghuman says:

    This was very informative thanks

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