The OSI model will help you understand how computers communicate.

This is just a model that helps us understand how things work. Not everything has to fit exactly into one of these layers and maybe you might design something that doesn’t fit perfectly. That’s okay.

Here is a summary of each of the layers. Make sure to listen to episodes 158 through 161 as well as this episode for more details.

  1. Physical layer is responsible for making sure that individual binary data can be transmitted and received.
  2. Data link layer is responsible for making sure that computers and devices can recognize each other and send and receive multiple bits of data.
  3. Network layer helps by routing information through multiple computers to reach the final destination.
  4. Transport layer adds reliability and flow control.
  5. Session layer adds longer communications through sessions.
  6. Presentation layer translates information between formats that an application expects to and from whatever format is needed for the communication.
  7. Application layer covers everything in an application.