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I am learning network security and I can't understand the boundary line between protocols and algorithms.

  1. Are algorithms the concrete realization of the protocols?
  2. Are protocols composed of several algorithms?
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closed as off topic by Terry Chia, Rory Alsop Jan 26 '13 at 9:51

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Welcome to the site - this isn't on topic here, unfortunately, as it is simply a terminology question, and not a security question (have a look at the faq for definitions) –  Rory Alsop Jan 26 '13 at 9:50

2 Answers 2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographic_protocol

"A protocol describes how the algorithms should be used. A sufficiently detailed protocol includes details about data structures and representations, at which point it can be used to implement multiple, interoperable versions of a program."

The above para is from the link.

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This two words as nothing common... (like searching for differences between house and business)

  • A protocol, like in politic, describe the form of a communication or exchange and have to be respected
  • Algorithms are such cook books who describe the manner of reaching a goal and have to be applied or followed (@community: Please edit! I'm not sure about best verb to write there... executed, developped, build... ).

The respect of a protocol could require the use of no, one or many algorithms, depending on what we are speaking about.

You may use some algorithms locally for your own needs, without having to respect any protocol...

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