Application Layer

In TCP/IP, the application layer contains all protocols and methods that fall into the realm of process-to-process communications across an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Application layer methods use the underlying transport layer protocols to establish host-to-host connections.

The Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) and the Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model) of computer networking each specify a group of protocols and methods identified by the name application layer.

In the OSI model, the definition of its application layer is narrower in scope, explicitly distinguishing additional functionality above the transport layer at two additional levels, the session layer and the presentation layer. OSI specifies strict modular separation of functionality at these layers and provides protocol implementations for each layer.

Internet protocols
Application layer
  • DHCP
  • DHCPv6
  • DNS
  • FTP
  • HTTP
  • IMAP
  • IRC
  • LDAP
  • MGCP
  • NNTP
  • NTP
  • POP
  • RPC
  • RTP
  • RTSP
  • SIP
  • SMTP
  • SNMP
  • SSH
  • Telnet
  • XMPP
  • (more)
Transport layer
  • TCP
  • UDP
  • DCCP
  • SCTP
  • RSVP
  • (more)
Routing protocols *
  • BGP
  • OSPF
  • RIP
  • (more)
Internet layer
  • IP
    • IPv4
    • IPv6
  • ICMP
  • ICMPv6
  • ECN
  • IGMP
  • IPsec
  • (more)
Link layer
  • NDP
  • Tunnels
    • L2TP
  • PPP
  • Media access control
    • Ethernet
    • DSL
    • ISDN
    • FDDI
  • (more)
* Not a layer. A routing protocol belongs either to application or network layer.
The OSI model
7 Application layer
6 Presentation layer
5 Session layer
4 Transport layer
3 Network layer
2 Data link layer
  • LLC sublayer
  • MAC sublayer
1 Physical layer

Read more about Application Layer:  TCP/IP Protocols, Other Protocol Examples

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