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Subnetwork Access Protocol

Subnetwork Access Protocol

(also SNAP)

Subnetwork Access Protocol definition

Subnetwork Access Protocol (SNAP) is a protocol that helps different network protocols like IP and IPX to operate over common network types such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi. It works by adding an extra header to data packets, which specifies the type of protocol the packet belongs to.

See also: subnet

History of Subnetwork Access Protocol

In the 1980s, the Subnetwork Access Protocol (SNAP) was developed to allow different network protocols to coexist on networks. An extension of the IEEE 802.2 LLC sublayer, SNAP added headers to packets for protocol identification and enabled efficient data traffic management.

Though its use has declined with the dominance of Ethernet and Internet Protocol, SNAP’s contribution to early network flexibility and interoperability remains a significant part of networking history.

Risks of Subnetwork Access Protocol

  • Increased overhead. Utilizing SNAP in a network can introduce additional overhead due to the extra header information added to each data packet.
  • Compatibility issues. While SNAP is designed to aid interoperability, it can sometimes cause compatibility issues with newer network devices or protocols.
  • Security vulnerabilities. The SNAP header, if not properly secured, can be exploited by attackers to inject malicious data or disrupt network communications.

Further reading

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