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

Layer 3 provides switching and routing technologies, creating logical paths, known as virtual circuits, for transmitting data from node to node.

 
OSI Layer 4 - Transport

Layer 4 provides transparent transfer of data between end systems, or hosts, and is responsible for end-to-end error recovery and flow control. It ensures complete data transfer.

 
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.

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