TCP and UDP Port Numbers

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Keith Barker
Nugget trainer since 2012
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OSI Layers, Ports, and Protocols FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

What exactly is the OSI model and why is it called that?

OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It's a way of thinking about the different functions of a telecommunications or computing system. The OSI model is broken down into seven layers, abstract ways of thinking about the tasks of those systems, from data transmission to error detection. The OSI model got its name from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which exists to standardize communication between diverse computer systems and technologies.

Who should take this course on OSI layers, ports and protocols?

Understanding the OSI model is important for practically any IT professional. The terminology and concepts related to the OSI model get used a lot, and if you're unfamiliar with the model, it can be easy to get lost. New systems administrators, junior cybersecurity specialists, and even experienced network engineers should all consider taking this short course on the OSI layers, ports and protocols if you have even a shred of uncertainty.

What are the layers of the OSI model?

There are seven layers to the OSI model: Physical, Data Link, Network, Transport, Session, Presentation, and Application. These seven layers help to explain the divisions of function in a computer or telecommunications system. The OSI model layers start at the top with Physical, explaining how and where devices get physically connected to one another and transmit data back and forth and culminate at the bottom with Application, where users interface with services.

Why should I learn about OSI layers, ports and protocols?

The OSI model for layers, ports and protocols is the abstract framework that helps explain every interaction that happens in a network, learning about them is crucial for understanding how a network functions. If you have any connection at all to the design, management or securing of a network, you'll find it easier to conceptualize, discuss and work on your network if you have a strong understanding of the OSI model.

What exactly is a protocol?

Protocols are rules that make sure devices can communicate with one another over a network – they define format, sequence, and other details about how data can be exchanged. Like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, filling out paperwork for a website that only accepts emails, or calling a friend who only likes to text, protocols make sure everyone follows the same rules for communicating and being understood.
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