Know your Network
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Jump to OSI Layer
The OSI Seven Layers – The OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model divides telecommunication into seven layers. The layers are in two groups. The upper four layers are used whenever a message passes from or to a user. The lower three layers (up to the network layer) are used when any message passes through the host computer.
OSI Layer 1 - Physical
Layer 1 conveys the bit stream - electrical impulse, light or radio signal through the network at the electrical and mechanical level.
OSI Layer 2 - Data Link
Layer 2 is where data packets are encoded and decoded into bits. It furnishes transmission protocol knowledge and management and handles errors in the physical layer, flow control and frame synchronization.
OSI Layer 3 - Network
OSI Layer 4 - Transport
OSI Layer 5 to 7 - Session / Presentation / Application
Layer 5 establishes, manages and terminates connections between applications. It deals with session and connection coordination.
Layer 6 provides independence from differences in data representation (e.g., encryption) by translating from application to network format, and vice versa.
Layer 7 supports application and end-user processes. Communication partners are identified, quality of service is identified, user authentication and privacy are considered, and any constraints on data syntax are identified.