Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 24 24 people found this article helpful What Is a Computer Protocol? How protocols affect web surfing By Paul Gil Writer Paul Gil, a former Lifewire writer who is also known for his dynamic internet and database courses and has been active in technology fields for over two decades. our editorial process Paul Gil Updated December 10, 2019 Pearleye / E+ / Getty Images Home Networking The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs ISP Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless Tweet Share Email A computer protocol is a set of invisible rules that govern how an internet document gets transmitted to your screen. These dozens of programmatic rules work in the background in the same way a bank employs staff procedures to keep your money safe. Types of Internet Computer Protocols A document's internet protocol is described by the first several letters in the browser address bar, ending in "://." The most common protocol is http:// for a regular hypertext page, followed by https://, which governs hypertext pages that are secured against hackers. Examples of internet computer protocols include: http: Hypertext Transfer Protocolhttps: Hypertext Transfer Protocol SecuredTCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocolftp: File Transfer ProtocolIMAP: Internet Message Access ProtocolPOP: Post Office ProtocolSMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocoltelnet: Terminal Network protocolUDP: User Datagram Protocolnntp: Network News Transfer ProtocolMAC: Media Access Control protocolDNS: Domain Name System protocolDHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol How Computer Protocols Affect Web Surfing Although computer protocols can be cryptic and technical for programmers and administrators, protocols are really just FYI knowledge for most users. As long as you are aware of the http and https at the beginning of the address and can type the correct address after ://, then computer protocols should be nothing more than a curiosity in your daily online life.