How do computers communicate to eachother?

Posted on Posted in Certification, Microsoft, millionlights

Ever wondered when you ping hi to your friend on Facebook from your computer how does the message gets delivered to his computer even though he is not in the same room? You must have thought of the communication between the computers?

Computers communicate to eachother via setting up network connections which are connected by wired or wireless means. The connection between the computer systems allow them to ‘talk’ to each other and share computing power. Networking includes the individual computer systems, the connections and the hardware that allows communication to happen.

According to an article in computer deal news as per research firm IDC Corp. the worldwide software-defined networking (SDN) market will grow from $960 million in 2014 to over $8 billion by 2018 with a robust CAGR of 89.4 per cent. (

If we look at the job outlook in computer networking, according to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , network and computer systems administrators could expect an 8% increase in jobs from 2014-2024, and computer network architects could expect to see 9% growth in the same period. In 2015, the BLS reported the median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators was $77,810, and for computer network architects was $100,240.( )

As we know computer networking plays an essential roles in our day to day life, may it be just chatting with friends, sending business emails or video conferencing. ATM is such an example where computer networking has an important role to offer. ATM networks incorporate the services from the telephone network and the Internet. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a connection switching technology that transmit data on a physical medium by using digital signal technology to manage digital data into 53-byte cell units. A cell is individually asynchronously processed relative to other adjacent cells. Before being multiplexed over the transmission, the call is queued. An ATM network has faster speed and may have a speed of 10 Gbps. ATM is an important part of technologies like Integrated Services Digital Network and Synchronous Optical Network to name a few.

Different types of Networks

There are different types of networks and network-connection methods as well. The most commonly used networks are personal area network, local area network, campus area network, metropolitan area network, wide area network, global area network and internet. All these networks differ in their size and   their method of connection.

Communication between computers

The way computer networking works is in layers. The layers in the OSI model are:

  1. Physical (e.g., copper, fiber, etc.)
  2. Data link (e.g., ethernet, ppp, fddi, etc.)
  3. Network (e.g., IPv4, IPv6, IPX, etc.)
  4. Transport (e.g., TCP, UDP, etc.)
  5. Session (Used in OSI, but most things here are handled by layer 4 in TCP/IP)
  6. Presentation (e.g., ASCII vs. EBCDIC, or MIME)
  7. Application (e.g., HTTP, SMTP, DNS, etc.)

For proper communication between two computers they must be speaking the same network layer protocol. Both computers will need an IP address which is the  unique identifier for the machines  in the TCP/IP protocol.An IP address is a 32-bit number or 128 binary bits number that uniquely identifies a host on a TCP/IPnetwork.

Do you know how computers gets IP address?

An IP address can be either dynamic or static. A static address is one that you configure yourself by editing your computer’s network settings. Dynamic addresses are assigned by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), a service running on the network. DHCP typically runs on network hardware such as routers or dedicated DHCP servers. Most of the times the IP address is assigned by a DHCP server.

Communication between computers on internet

TCP/IP is a set of communications protocols which is used by computers to communicate online. TCP refers to Transmission Control Protocol and IP refers to Internet Protocol. TCP/IP specifies how data transmits between the devices when they are connected to internet. It allows computers to send and receive information in form of data packets.

There are four different abstraction layers within TCP/IP, Those layers are:

  • The link layer— this is the lowest layer in the TCP/IP stack and it’s a group of methods that operate on a host’s link. It’s commonly Ethernet.
  • The Internet layer(IP) — This is the layer that allows connection of  local networks to eachother
  • The transport layer(TCP) — This is the layer that controls host-to-host communication
  • The application layer— The application layer is the set of protocols that specify data communications on a process-to-process level.

IP is the communication that takes place between individual computers. The IP sends packets between computers and also routes packets which is the unit of data to the right destination. What TCP’s does is breaking down the data communicated between applications into packets so that they can be sent over IP to another computer. TCP also reassembles those packets once they are delivered by the IP.

This is just the short introduction of how computers interact with eachother and how the data is transmitted online. If you wish to gain the in depth knowledge of networking you must join computer communications course on Millionlights website  and enhance your knowledge about computer networking.