Term Description
protocol protocol is an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices. The protocol determines the following:

- type of error checking to be used
- data compression method, if any
- how the sending device will indicate that it has finished sending a message
- how the receiving device will indicate that it has received a message

There are a variety of standard protocols with particular advantages and disadvantages; for example, some are simpler than others, some are more reliable, and some are faster. From a user's point of view, the only significant aspect about protocols is that your computer or device must support the right ones if you want to communicate with other computers.
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