Degree | Informatics engineering

Networking and Communications I

Scientific Field:

Computer Science





Contact Hours Theoretical Practices:



To complete this unit, students must acquire the following knowledge and skills:

1. Understand the fundamentals and logic of layered architecture of data communication systems in computer networks and the Internet (OSI and TCP/IP models);
2. Understand the Application layer operating model, including important protocols of this layer (HTTP, FTP, DNS, e-mail, Telnet, SIP, VoIP), as well as the client-server and peer-to-peer application models.
3. Understand the Transport layer’s operating mechanisms, the types of services provided, as well as the main protocols used (TCP and UDP);
4. Understand the functioning of the Network layer, the IP addressing system, the routing process and respective protocols;
5. Understand protocols and technologies at the DataLink layer level, with emphasis on local Ethernet networks;
6. Understand the architecture and operating model of the network used in Datacentres;
7. Understand the architecture of wireless and mobile networks;
8. Use content analysing software to analyse packets on the Internet.


1. A brief history of computer networks and the Internet
2. Networks and Protocols

2.1. Networks software and hardware
2.2. Network topologies and classification
2.3. The layered Architecture
2.4. Suggestive analogies
2.5. Layers, Services, Protocols, and Packets
2.6. Packet encapsulation technique
2.7. OSI and TCP/IP models
2.8. Application Layer. Messages
2.9. Transport layer.

2.9.1. Segments
2.9.2. Logic communication between processes

2.10. The Network layer

2.10.1. Datagrams
2.10.2. Logical Communication Between Hosts
2.11. The Link layer.
2.11.1. frames
2.11.2. Logical Communication Between Nodes
2.12. Physical layer.
2.12.1. The transmission of bits
2.12.2. Wired and wireless transmission technologies

3. Application Layer

3.1. Networking application concept
3.2. Network application architectures

3.2.1. Client-server applications
3.2.2. Peer-to-Peer Applications
3.2.3. Interface between processes and protocols. Sockets

3.3. Network-provided transport services

3.3.1. TCP protocol Services
3.3.2. UDP protocol services

3.4. Application Layer Protocols

3.4.1. Web and HTTP
3.4.2. DNS – Internet Directory Service
3.4.3. FTP
3.4.4. SMTP – Electronic Mail
3.4.5. TELNET
3.4.6. SIP
3.4.7. VoIP
3.4.8. RTP

4. Transport Layer

4.1. Transport layer services
4.2. The link between the Transport layer and the Network layer
4.3. Multiplexing and demultiplexing
4.4. The UDP protocol

4.4.1. Service model
4.4.2. Structure of UDP segments
4.4.3. UDP protocol usage

4.5. The TCP protocol

4.5.1. Principles and models of “reliable data transfer”
4.5.2. TCP protocol features
4.5.3. TCP connection establishment
4.5.4. TCP segment structure
4.5.5. Data flow control

5. The Network layer

5.1. Network Service Models.
5.2. Virtual Circuit Networks
5.3. Datagram Networks
5.4. forwarding and routing
5.5. Anatomy and functioning of a router
5.6. IP protocol

5.6.1. IPv4 Datagram Structure
5.6.2. IPv6 Datagram Structure
5.6.3. Addressing model

5.7. Routing

5.7.1. Short introduction to routing protocols
5.7.2. Autonomous Systems (AS) and Router Hierarchies
5.7.3. Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
5.7.4. OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) protocol
5.7.5. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)
5.7.6. Broadcasting and Multicast Routing

6. Data Link Layer

6.1. Nodes and Links

6.1.1. Services provided by the DataLink layer Data Link Layer Frames MAC – Media Access Control Reliable Delivery Error detection and correction Network Adapters

6.1.2. Local Area Networks MAC Addresses ARP – Address Resolution Protocol Ethernet networks Origins and evolution of Ethernet networks CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access Collision Detection) protocol Link-layer switching Virtual Local Area Networks

7. Networks Datacentre

7.1. Types of traffic in Datacentres
7.2. Load balancing
7.3. Hierarchical Architecture
7.4. Network topologies in Datacentres

8. Wireless and Mobile networks

8.1. Wireless LANs

8.1.1. Wi-Fi (802.11)
8.1.2. Architecture 802.11
8.1.3. Frames 802.11
8.1.4. MAC protocol for Wi-Fi

8.2. Personal Area Networks

8.2.1. Concept and uses
8.2.2. Bluetooth technology

8.3. Cellular networks

8.3.1. Cellular Network Architecture
8.3.2. 3G, 4G, and 5G Technologies

8.4. Mobility

8.4.1. Wi-Fi and Mobility
8.4.2. mobility management
8.4.3. Mobile IP
8.4.4. Mobility and cellular networks
8.4.5. Trend towards Wi-Fi ubiquity


The syllabus of this unit addresses, from top to bottom, the architecture of networks and the internet, starting at the application layer and ending at the Link Layer. At each layer, the logic for its implementation and the communication protocols used will be analysed, giving students an understanding of how each layer in a network function in a hierarchical layer structure. Datacentre and mobile networks are also analysed.


This unit has a theoretical-practical nature. In total 60 hours are planned for classroom teaching. The total study time should be 108 hours. The theoretical presentations made by the teacher encourage the participation of the students. The practical component, especially regarding objectives 4 to 7, are exercises developed in the classroom with the supervision of the teacher.
Under ISTEC’s Regulation of Functioning, students are evaluated through a mandatory individual written exam. The student’s final classification may be positively affected by elements resulting from a continuous assessment process, such as tests, individual or group academic work, individual initiatives to participate in classes and learning resources provided by e-learning systems.


By completing this curriculum unit, students should have a global view of the architecture of computer networks and the Internet. The theoretical analysis and the information structure of each protocol and the need to implement the various layers and each of the communication protocols. This theoretical knowledge must be complemented and solidified with the practical tasks, analysing the package structure and the protocol information they carry.


Kurose, James F. e , Ross, Keith W. (2013) Computer networking : a top-down approach, 6th ed
Mir, Nader F..(2014) Computer and Communication Networks, Second Edition
Tanenbaum, A. (2010). Computer Networks, 5th edition. USA: Prentice Hall
SÁ, Rui (2016). Introdução às Telecomunicações.Lisboa:FCA
CARRIÇO, Rui (2009). Tecnologias e Protocolos de Redes. Lisboa: Edições Chambel
MONTEIRO, E. e BOAVIDA, F. (2011). Engenharia de Redes Informáticas. Lisboa:FCA
GOUVEIA, José e MAGALHÃES, A. (2013). Redes de Computadores. Lisboa: FCA
BOAVIDA, F. E BERNARDES, M. (2912). TCP/IP – Teoria e Prática. Lisboa:FCA
MATTHEWS, Jeanna (2005). Computer Networking – Internet Protocols in Action. USA:Wiley
LOWE, Doug (2013). Networking All-in-One For Dummies. USA: Wiley
FOROUZAN, Behrouz A. (2013). Data Communications And Networking. USA: McGraw Hill
VERMESAN, Ovidiu e FRIESS, Peter (2014). Internet of Things – From Research and Innovation to Market Deployment. River Publishers
PINTO, Sérgio (2009). Redes Celulares. Lisboa:FCA

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