Colored blocks in a stackI created a guide to the 7-layer OSI model to help students studying for their Network+ certification test. The OSI model is in the central column with descriptions of each layer. Since TCP/IP was designed using a 4-layer model, I’ve included the 4-layer TCP/IP stack in the leftmost column to illustrate how each of the 4 layers maps to the 7-layer OSI model. In the rightmost column I’ve created a guide mapping individual protocols to the appropriate layer. Protocols that are part of the same family are colored appropriately.

I used to get a lot of questions in class from students transitioning into the computer field asking what individual pieces of hardware look like. So I’ve made each piece of hardware a link that performs a Google Image search for that item.

There are a lot of visuals on the web illustrating the 7-layer OSI model, but this is the only one I’ve ever seen that maps the OSI model to the TCP/IP model, and includes all relevant (to Network+) protocols with port numbers and their relation to each other, and also includes hardware. I’ve formatted the guide as a table that is sized for printing on 8.5X11 paper, if that aids in study.

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