Handshaking Defined

Handshaking is an automated process that sets parameters for communication between two different devices before normal communication begins. Much like the way a human handshake sets the stage for the communication to follow, the computing handshake provides both devices with the basic rules for the way data is to be shared between them. These rules can include transfer rate, coding alphabet, parity, interrupt procedure and more.

A computer handshake may be completed between any two systems that communicate with each other on the same protocol. The two systems may be a client and server or simply two computers on a p2p network. The handshake confirms the identities of the connecting systems and allows additional communication to take place.

Handshaking over a network is commonly called a 3-Way Handshake or “SYN-SYN-ACK.” A successful handshake involves seven steps:

  1. Host A sends a synchronize (SYN) packet to Host B.
  2. Host B receives Host A’s SYN request.
  3. Host B sends a synchronize acknowledgement (SYN-ACK) message to Host A.
  4. Host A receive’s Host B’s SYN-ACK message.
  5. Host A sends an acknowledge (ACK) message to to Host B.
  6. Host B receives Host A’s ACK message.
  7. The connection between the two systems is establishe

What are the 3 steps in a TCP handshake?

TCP uses a three-way handshake to establish a reliable connection. The connection is full duplex, and both sides synchronize (SYN) and acknowledge (ACK) each other. The exchange of these four flags is performed in three steps: SYN, SYN-ACK, ACK

What is a 3 way handshake in networking?

THREEWAY HANDSHAKE or a TCP 3way handshake is a process which is used in a TCP/IP network to make a connection between the server and client. It is a three-step process that requires both the client and server to exchange synchronization and acknowledgment packets before the real data communication process starts.

Examples of Handshaking Protocols

While practically every computing device that connects to another device uses handshaking, there are a few examples you use every day. The cryptographic protocol Transport Layer Security and its predecessor Secure Sockets Layer both use a handshaking procedure when making network connections to verify authorization and protect data between two computers. USB connections between computers and devices also use handshakes to verify data has been received successfully, that it was not received, or that the device requires user intervention to continue.


Handshaking can negotiate parameters that are acceptable to equipment and systems at both ends of the communication channel, including information transfer rate, coding alphabet, parity, interrupt procedure, and other protocol or hardware featuresHandshaking is a technique of communication between two entities.

The advantages of TCP/IP protocol suite are

  • It is an industry–standard model that can be effectively deployed in practical networking problems.
  • It is interoperable, i.e., it allows cross-platform communications among heterogeneous networks.
  • It is an open protocol suite. It is not owned by any particular institute and so can be used by any individual or organization.
  • It is a scalable, client-server architecture. This allows networks to be added without disrupting the current services.
  • It assigns an IP address to each computer on the network, thus making each device to be identifiable over the network. It assigns each site a domain name. It provides name and address resolution services.

The disadvantages of the TCP/IP model are

  • It is not generic in nature. So, it fails to represent any protocol stack other than the TCP/IP suite. For example, it cannot describe the Bluetooth connection.
  • It does not clearly separate the concepts of services, interfaces, and protocols. So, it is not suitable to describe new technologies in new networks.
  • It does not distinguish between the data link and the physical layers, which has very different functionalities. The data link layer should concern with the transmission of frames. On the other hand, the physical layer should lay down the physical characteristics of transmission. A proper model should segregate the two layers.
  • It was originally designed and implemented for wide area networks. It is not optimized for small networks like LAN (local area network) and PAN (personal area network).
  • Among its suite of protocols, TCP and IP were carefully designed and well implemented. Some of the other protocols were developed ad hoc and so proved to be unsuitable in long run. However, due to the popularity of the model, these protocols are being used even 30–40 years after their introduction.


Author: refuge_2020

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