We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Open Systems Interconnection?

By Emma G.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Open systems interconnection is a reference model illustrating how messages should be transmitted over a telecommunication network. It does not include detailed interfaces. Instead, it serves as a guide for creators of networks so that their products are compatible with those of other creators. The open systems interconnection includes seven functions, known as function layers, that should be performed when messages are sent over the network.

This reference model was created by the International Organization for Standardization (IOS). The IOS is a group made up of representatives from more than 160 countries that works to create standards to facilitate communication and business cooperation between countries. The recommendations for open systems interconnection are encoded in section X.200 of the International Telecommunications Union - Telecommunications Standards (ITU-TS).

Each computer in a network should be able to perform all seven of the function layers. No one program performs all four functions. Instead, they are divided up between several components of the computer. Functions may be performed by the operating system, the programs, or the network protocols.

The seven layers are divided into two groups. The first three are used whenever messages pass through the computer. These are the physical, data-link, and network layers. If the message is not intended for the computer it is passing through but is just using the computer to help transport, the messages do not pass through the next four layers. Those layers are used only when a message passes from or to a user.

The physical layer allows hardware to send and receive bits of data. The data-link layer of the open systems interconnection is aware of the transmission protocol and makes sure the computer follows those rules. Finally, the network layer sends the data to the right computer. Much like an envelope sorter at the post office, it divides the messages into outbound mail meant for other computers and local mail meant for the computer doing the processing.

If the message is local mail, it is then processed through four more function layers of the open systems interconnection. The transport layer makes sure the full message has arrived and checks for errors. Like the telephone operator in old movies, the session layer coordinates the connection between two computers. At the presentation or syntax layer, data are converted from the format in which they were sent to a format that can be read by the computer. Finally, the application layer takes care of all the little details, from checking the speed of the connection to making sure privacy and authorization protections are in place.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.