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Connection-oriented protocol

Connection-oriented protocol

(also COP)

Connection-oriented protocol definition

A connection-oriented protocol is a communication protocol that establishes a reliable, dedicated connection between two devices before transmitting data. The two devices establish a virtual path (or circuit) between them for sending data in a structured way. Several types of connection-oriented protocols exist, but the most widely used is the transmission control protocol (TCP).

How a connection-oriented protocol works

  • In the setup phase, the devices that want to communicate send a series of messages to each other to initiate a connection.
  • They negotiate the connection parameters (such as the maximum amount of data sent in a single message or how errors will be handled).
  • Once they’ve established a connection, the devices start sending data back and forth using the path in a structured way.
  • Each piece of data is acknowledged by the receiving device before the next piece is sent to ensure no data is corrupted or lost during transmission.
  • Once all data has been transmitted, the connection between the devices can be terminated to free up resources and form new connections.

Examples of connection-oriented protocols

  • Transmission control protocol (TCP)
  • X:25
  • Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
  • Frame relay
  • Stream control transmission protocol

Further reading

Ultimate digital security