home  exhibition  quizzes  tour 
  basics  protocol mechanisms  internet  lans  applications  
  protocol layering
intermediate systems | internet protocol stack | data transmission | network vs transport layer | encapsulation |

Network and Transport Layer

In general, network layer protocols provide a logical communication between hosts, whereas transport layer protocols provide a logical communication between processes running on these hosts.

This application tries to show this important difference with an analogy. Consider two houses on the east and west side, with each house being home to some kids. The kids of the west household are cousins of the kids in the east household. Each kid writes each cousin every week a letter, with each letter delivered by postal service in a separate envelope. In each household is one kid Ann in the west house, Bill in the east house responsible for mail collection and mail distribution.

Now try the application! Similar to the network layer, the postal service provides a logical communication between the houses (it transports mail only from house to house and not from person to person!). On the other hand, Ann and Bill can be compared with the transport layer since they provide logical communication between the cousins in the two houses.

(This analogy is described in detail in J. F. Kurose, K. W. Ross: Computer Networking - chapter: transport layer)