You may be wondering what happens to data after it is sent off by the network layer. The answer is that it is followed by the transport layer. This may seem a little confusing, as we saw that the network layer plays a big role in the transportation of data. But, while the two layers are similar and even share some similar functions, there are some differences between the two that are worth noting.
As we saw, the network layer takes packaged information and sends along the quickest route. It also aids in information being received by breaking it into smaller pieces, if need be. The transport layer assists in these processes. One of the key functions of the transport layer is making sure that the information is sent and received in the same order. This important step ensures that information makes sense and that other functions can be carried out.
The transport layer also plays other important roles in transportation. We have seen that the network layer sends information along the best route, but this process wouldn’t happen without the transport layer. The transport layer is integral into the labeling of information transmission pathways. In other words, the transportation recognizes all the possible pathways from point A to point B, and then labels them.
This is very similar to how we name our own roads and highways. This creates a virtual road map, in a sense. Instead of having names like our roads, the transportation labels the different pathways as different ports. When the network layer sends information, it utilizes these ports and can make quick identification of the quickest route to send the information.
This leads to a crucial difference between the network and the transport layer. The transport layer’s role in labeling different ports gives it critical functions in troubleshooting and when identifying errors.
In short, the transport layer bears striking similarities to the network layer but differs in key areas. The two layers depend on each other to ensure that information is sent in the fastest and most efficient way across the network.
The transport layer is crucial to identifying different pathways that information can take. Because it labels these different highways, it allows for information to be quickly sent in the fastest manner by giving your computer the information it needs in order to quickly diagnose which port is most appropriate. This layer is of critical importance in networking.