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Data Link Layer

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

In the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model, the data link layer sits just above the physical layer. Therefore, it defines the protocols that directly interact with the physical components of the link, such as the network adapters and cable. It frames data and controls the flow of information across the link. Originally, data link protocols were designed for point-to-point links, and this is still the primary way that communication is handled, although shared LANs such as Ethernet require additional medium access control protocols to arbitrate access to the shared medium.

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