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1 definition found
 for protocol layer
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  protocol layer
  layer
  
      The software and/or hardware environment of
     two or more communications devices or computers in which a
     particular network protocol operates.  A network
     connection may be thought of as a set of more or less
     independent protocols, each in a different layer or level.
     The lowest layer governs direct host-to-host communication
     between the hardware at different hosts; the highest consists
     of user application programs.  Each layer uses the layer
     beneath it and provides a service for the layer above.  Each
     networking component hardware or software on one host uses
     protocols appropriate to its layer to communicate with the
     corresponding component (its "peer") on another host.  Such
     layered protocols are sometimes known as peer-to-peer
     protocols.
  
     The advantages of layered protocols is that the methods of
     passing information from one layer to another are specified
     clearly as part of the protocol suite, and changes within a
     protocol layer are prevented from affecting the other layers.
     This greatly simplifies the task of designing and maintaining
     communication systems.
  
     Examples of layered protocols are TCP/IP's five layer
     protocol stack and the OSI seven layer model.
  
     (1997-05-05)
  

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