Difference between protocol and standards


protocol is a particular set of rules for having a conversation between two computers to convey a specific set of information. It is an agreement between the communicating parties on how the communication is to proceed. Violating the protocol will make the communication more difficult.

An example of protocol would be TCP/IP. The specifics of the above would detail the addressing format, number of bits used, methods to decide grouping, size of data chunks and more


Standard  : A standard (and in the networking arena, many protocols are standards) is a document that specifies something that has the overwhelming support and agreement of the standards making bodies.

An example of standards would be 802 standards. One of them, 802.3u, lays down the specifications related to FastEthernet. So, if anyone were to design a hardware or software related to FastEthernet, they would have to follow those specifications.


Some of the standards making organizations are given below:


  • IEEE-Institute of Electrical, Electronics Engineers. Formed in 1962 by grouping Institute of Radio Engineers and American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Standards are designed and maintained by IEEE-SA (IEEE Standards Association)
  • ANSI- American National Standard Institute- five societies are AIEE, ASME, ASCE, AIME(mining), ASTM(testing & Material)
  • ITU-International telecommunication Union
  • ISO – International Organisation for standards
  • EIA – Electronic Industries Association
  • ESTI (Europian Telecommunications Standards Institute)-  ETSI has been successful in standardizing the Low Power Radio, Short Range Device, GSM cell phone system and the TETRA professional mobile radio system.
  • W3C-www consortium – formed on 18 Feb 2011

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