The Network Interface Layer
The network interface layer is also known as the network access layer. The primary responsibility of this layer is to send and receive TCP/IP packets to or from the network medium. This layer defines how a computer is connected to the network by which it can transmit data to another computer. It also defines the protocols such as Ethernet, token ring, frame relay, and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) for LAN and WAN connectivity.
The protocols associated with the network interface layer are as follows:
Ethernet: Refers to a set of protocols which define the physical characteristic of the data transmission. This protocol defines the cables and connectors. This protocol is standardized in IEEE 802.3 standard.
Token Ring: Refers to a LAN protocol which is defined in IEEE 802.5 standard. This protocol circulates a token which contain message or data on the ring where all the computers are connected.
Frame Relay: Refers to a WAN protocol which transmits voice and data across remote LANs through a WAN service provider. This protocol is standardized in IEEE 802.11 standard.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM): Refers to a cell relay protocol which was designed by ATM Forum and accepted by ITU-T. This protocol uses switching and multiplexing techniques and engages small frames called cells to transmit each type of information quickly.