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Protocol Layering (OSI & TCP IP)

Understand TCP/IP layering with packet analysis and map OSI layer

38 Participants 30 Minutes Beginner

Welcome to our Protocol Layering (OSI & TCP IP) with Wireshark packet analysis lab, where we explore the TCP/IP and OSI models. Using Wireshark captures, we'll dissect packets, showcasing how they traverse TCP/IP layers. We'll also delve into the OSI model, mapping its layers to TCP/IP, and bridging theory with practical application. This hands-on session offers insights into network protocols, packet analysis, and the intricate workings of modern networking. Join us to uncover the secrets of network communication.

 

What is the TCP/IP model

The TCP/IP model, or the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol model, is a network communication framework comprising four layers that facilitate the exchange of data between devices over a network.

 

1. Application Layer: The topmost layer is the Application layer, which interacts directly with users and their applications. It provides network services to application programs, enabling functions like email, file transfer, and web browsing. Protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and DNS operate at this layer.

2. Transport Layer: Sitting above the Internet layer, the Transport layer ensures reliable data delivery between devices. It handles end-to-end communication, breaking data into smaller segments, and reassembling them at the receiving end. Two prominent protocols at this layer are TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), offering reliable, connection-oriented communication, and UDP (User Datagram Protocol), which provides faster connectionless communication.

3. Network Layer: The Network layer manages the addressing and routing of data packets across interconnected networks. It is responsible for logical addressing (IP addressing), packet forwarding, and routing decisions. The Internet Protocol (IP) is the primary protocol at this layer, responsible for addressing and routing packets between hosts on different networks.

4. Physical Layer: The Physical layer, also known as the Network Interface layer, deals with the physical transmission of data over the network medium. It handles communication between devices on the same local network segment and ensures that data packets are delivered reliably across the physical network. Protocols such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) operate at this layer.

Overall, the TCP/IP model provides a structured approach to network communication, with each layer serving specific functions to enable efficient, reliable, and scalable data exchange across networks.

 

OSI Model 

The OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model is a conceptual framework that standardizes the functions of a telecommunication or computing system into seven distinct layers. Each layer serves a specific purpose in facilitating communication between devices on a network. Here's a brief overview of the OSI model and how it maps to the TCP/IP model:

Physical Layer (Layer 1): The Physical layer deals with the physical transmission of data over the network medium, including specifications for cables, connectors, and signaling. It defines how bits are transmitted over the network medium, without regard to the data being transmitted. In the TCP/IP model, the functions of the Physical layer are primarily covered by the Link layer.

Data Link Layer (Layer 2): The Data Link layer is responsible for node-to-node communication, ensuring reliable transmission of data frames over the physical network. It handles issues such as error detection and correction, flow control, and media access control (MAC). Protocols like Ethernet and PPP operate at this layer in both the OSI and TCP/IP models.

Network Layer (Layer 3): The Network layer manages logical addressing and routing of data packets between different networks. It defines the addressing scheme (such as IP addresses) and determines the best path for data to travel across interconnected networks. In the OSI model, the Network layer corresponds to both the Internet layer and part of the Transport layer in the TCP/IP model.

Transport Layer (Layer 4): The Transport layer ensures reliable end-to-end communication between devices, breaking data into segments and reassembling them at the destination. It provides mechanisms for error recovery, flow control, and multiplexing. In the OSI model, the Transport layer closely aligns with the Transport layer in the TCP/IP model.

Session Layer (Layer 5): The Session layer establishes, maintains, and terminates connections between applications on different devices. It manages sessions, allowing for synchronization, checkpointing, and recovery of data exchange. The functions of the Session layer are typically integrated into the Application layer in the TCP/IP model.

Presentation Layer (Layer 6): The Presentation layer handles data formatting, translation, encryption, and compression to ensure compatibility between different systems. It prepares data for transmission and ensures that data from the application layer of one system can be properly interpreted by the application layer of another system. In the TCP/IP model, these functions are often part of the Application layer or implemented as separate protocols.

Application Layer (Layer 7): The Application layer enables user interaction with network services and applications. It provides interfaces for accessing network resources, including protocols for email, file transfer, web browsing, and remote access. Many protocols at this layer in the OSI model, such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and DNS, directly correspond to protocols in the TCP/IP model's Application layer.



Conclusion 

In conclusion, this lab provides brief information on network communication, dissecting the TCP/IP and OSI models using Wireshark packet analysis. By exploring the layers of these models, we gained a deeper understanding of how data traverses networks, from the physical transmission to the application interaction. Through practical demonstrations and theoretical insights, participants uncovered the underlying principles of network protocols, packet exchange, and the seamless integration between theory and real-world implementation.

Protocol Layering (OSI & TCP IP)

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