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Is protocol - the term that is used in mainly networking contexts is nothing but
an algorithm ? Could we so say like TCP algorithm ?

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    A network protocol is a set of rules for communication. An algorithm is how you implement the protocol. There may be several algorithms used in a single protocol. – Ron Maupin Jun 3 at 17:38
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As @ronmaupin says, a network protocol is a set of rules for communication. An algorithm is how you implement the protocol. There may be several algorithms used in a single protocol.

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  • So it's like a protocol may say that the data to be sent must be encrypted. So that will be a protocol whereas algorithm would be how you are going to implement this and which encryption algorithm you are gonna use. Could you provide some analogy of protocol and algorithm. How did this word protocol got into networking it seems little weird word to being with rather than simply saying rule etc – pensee Jun 4 at 7:42
  • I think you described it pretty well. – Ron Trunk Jun 4 at 7:46
  • @pensee Generally, the encryption (or method of agreeing on encryption) needs to be standardized as part of the protocol -- it wouldn't work to have one end encrypting data with AES-128, and the other trying to decrypt it with 3DES. On the other hand, sometimes there are multiple algorithms available to implement the same encryption method, and as long as they're all compatible with each other that doesn't need to be defined by the protocol. – Gordon Davisson Jun 5 at 0:21
  • @pensee, saying protocol is easier than saying a set of rules. The word is used in many different circumstances, from things like medicine to diplomacy, and it fits perfectly. Look at TCP. It describes a set of rules for communication that is reliable. TCP uses multiple algorithms from the TCP state machine, to recognizing and resending lost data. TCP is quite complex, and there are different implementations with new algorithms (e.g. TCP Reno, TCP NewReno, TCP FACK, TCP SACK and TCP Vegas). – Ron Maupin Jun 5 at 0:30

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