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Internet Protocols  «Prev  Next»
Lesson 8 Web protocols
ObjectiveName the protocols used on the Web

Protocols used by Web systems

In a Web system, protocols are used to display pages and to fulfill requests for information. You may already be familiar with the most common protocols used on the Web.


The gopher protocol is a utility that searches the Internet for data and news and presents the results in a hierarchy-based document-retrieval system. It's a precursor to the Web and has made research findings more user friendly. Gopher provides a text interface.


HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted and the actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when a user enters a URL into a browser and presses Enter, it is HTTP, not the browser, that instructs the ISP's server to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.
HTTP works in conjunction with HTML to display WebWeb pages. The Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the protocol that instructs the browser in how aspects of the received Web page are to be displayed.
HTTP is called a stateless protocol. Stateless means that each command is run without reference to prior commands. Stateless commands greatly inhibit the ability to add "intellegence" to the language because each command cannot receive or share data with other commands, as occurs in true programming languages. For this reason, many add-in languages have been designed to supplement HTTP to enable interaction with the user: ActiveX, Java, JavaScript, and cookies.
The latest version of HTTP is HTTP 1.1. One of the main features of HTTP 1.1 is that it supports persistent connections. This permits a browser to connect to a Web server receive multiple files simultaneously through a single connection. This version has been available for several years and improves performance by as much as 20 percent.


If you have ever used a newsgroup, then you will appreciate the importance of NNTP. It allows your emails to discussion groups to be routed and received. News servers use Network News Transfer Protocol (NTTP) to send and receive Internet news (called Usenet news).


Telnet is a "terminal emulator for the Internet". Its original use was to permit "dumb" terminals to connect to distant mainframes over the Internet (via a telephone connection). Based on TCP/IP, Telnet now permits a PC to connect to a server and emulate a control terminal (the screen and keyboard used to control the server). Once connected, the user can send commands directly to the server (called the host) and control it through the PC's console (an old name for the keyboard). Because Telnet is used to access mainframes or server, a login ID is required (username and password). Telnet is also a common way for network administrators to remotely control Web servers (also called host servers).


File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the primary protocol used to transfer files and resources on the Internet. The protocol is designed to display files available for downloading or uploading and facilitate login functions. Unlike a common file management utility available on all PCs, the FTP protocol must also address security issues from Internet visitors. This means the ability to process login name and password verification on the server. Once once a user is logged in, the FTP protocol must limit the user's access to only those files or directories for which the user is authorized. Anonymous FTP is when the FTP server automatically logs in all visitors using the same login name and password.

Internet Web Technologies

web Protocols
In the next lesson, you will learn about Internet domain names and the DNS.

Internet Protocols - Quiz

Click the Quiz link below to reinforce your understanding of terms and concepts related to Internet protocols.
Internet Protocols - Quiz