Java Networking

Java Networking is a concept of connecting two or more computing devices together so that we can share resources.

Java socket programming provides facility to share data between different computing devices.

Advantage of Java Networking

  1. sharing resources
  2. centralize software management

Java Networking Terminology

The widely used java networking terminologies are given below:

  1. IP Address
  2. Protocol
  3. Port Number
  4. MAC Address
  5. Connection-oriented and connection-less protocol
  6. Socket

1) IP Address

IP address is a unique number assigned to a node of a network e.g. . It is composed of octets that range from 0 to 255.

It is a logical address that can be changed.

2) Protocol

A protocol is a set of rules basically that is followed for communication. For example:

  • TCP
  • FTP
  • Telnet
  • SMTP
  • POP etc.

3) Port Number

The port number is used to uniquely identify different applications. It acts as a communication endpoint between applications.

The port number is associated with the IP address for communication between two applications.

4) MAC Address

MAC (Media Access Control) Address is a unique identifier of NIC (Network Interface Controller). A network node can have multiple NIC but each with unique MAC.

5) Connection-oriented and connection-less protocol

In connection-oriented protocol, acknowledgement is sent by the receiver. So it is reliable but slow. The example of connection-oriented protocol is TCP.

But, in connection-less protocol, acknowledgement is not sent by the receiver. So it is not reliable but fast. The example of connection-less protocol is UDP.

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6) Socket

Sockets provide the communication mechanism between two computers using TCP. A client program creates a socket on its end of the communication and attempts to connect that socket to a server.

When the connection is made, the server creates a socket object on its end of the communication. The client and the server can now communicate by writing to and reading from the socket.

The class represents a socket, and the class provides a mechanism for the server program to listen for clients and establish connections with them.

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The following steps occur when establishing a TCP connection between two computers using sockets −

  • The server instantiates a ServerSocket object, denoting which port number communication is to occur on.
  • The server invokes the accept() method of the ServerSocket class. This method waits until a client connects to the server on the given port.
  • After the server is waiting, a client instantiates a Socket object, specifying the server name and the port number to connect to.
  • The constructor of the Socket class attempts to connect the client to the specified server and the port number. If communication is established, the client now has a Socket object capable of communicating with the server.
  • On the server side, the accept() method returns a reference to a new socket on the server that is connected to the client’s socket.

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After the connections are established, communication can occur using I/O streams. Each socket has both an OutputStream and an InputStream. The client’s OutputStream is connected to the server’s InputStream, and the client’s InputStream is connected to the server’s OutputStream.

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TCP is a two-way communication protocol, hence data can be sent across both streams at the same time. Following are the useful classes providing complete set of methods to implement sockets.




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