Types of Internet Protocols

There are several protocols used on the Internet. Learn about them below.

A protocol is a language used for network communications. The internet has different types of these protocols or internet connections. The following are the types of internet protocols:

File Retrieval Protocols

One of the earliest ways of retrieving information from computers that are connected to the internet is this type of service called File Retrieval Protocols. There are no graphics and most of the time no description for the content of the files but it allowed you to view the names of the files found in the serving computer. Advanced knowledge is needed in order to get the information you sought out using this service.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a type of internet protocol that allows users to move or relocate files from one computer to another. It was one of the first internet services ever developed and is still in use today. Through the use of the FTP program, a person can log on to a remote computer, browse through the files in it and either upload or download files, if the remote computer permits it. Only the file name can be seen; it does not include a description of the content of the files. When trying to download software applications from the web, it is highly likely that you will encounter the File Transfer Protocol since most of the sites that offer applications for download use this type of internet protocol.


In this type of internet protocol, files with some content description are offered, making it easier and more practical to use. Similar to how your computer’s hard drive is arranged, it displays the files on the remote computer in a hierarchical manner. Despite its advantage of added content description, it is not widely used anymore but is still used in some operational gopher sites.


By using the telnet protocol, you can use and connect to a remote computer program. It will specifically allow you to use an application from the remote computer as if it were on your own computer. This protocol requires additional special software to function.

Electronic Mail

The electronic mail or email protocol uses three distinct ones namely the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP, the Internet Message Access Protocol or IMAP and lastly the Post Office Protocol 3 or POP3.

The SMTP is used for sending the mail while the IMAP and the POP3 are used for receiving them. Most, if not, all internet service providers support these three protocols, however, the most popular set up include using the SMTP for sending and only the POP3 for receiving emails.

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP or World Wide Web)

This is the protocol used by web servers for web pages to be shown in the browsers. Generally, it tells the browser what kind of information to expect from a web page. It is mostly seen in the address bar as a prefix to the webpage you are visiting.