What is network socket? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

A network socket is one endpoint in a communication flow between two programs running over a network.

Sockets are created and used with a set of programming requests or "function calls" sometimes called the sockets application programming interface (API). The most common sockets API is the Berkeley UNIX C interface for sockets. Sockets can also be used for communication between processes within the same computer.

This is the typical sequence of sockets requests from a server application in the connectionless context of the Internet in which a server handles many client requests and does not maintain a connection longer than the serving of the immediate request:

 

socket()
|
bind()
|
recvfrom()
|
(wait for a sendto request from some client)
|
(process the sendto request)
|
sendto (in reply to the request from the client...for example, send an HTML file)

A corresponding client sequence of sockets requests would be:

 

socket()
|
bind()
|
sendto()
|
recvfrom()

Sockets can also be used for "connection-oriented" transactions with a somewhat different sequence of C language system calls or functions.

The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a computer networking protocol that manages server authentication, client authentication and encrypted communication between servers and clients.

See a video introduction to sockets:

This was last updated in March 2015
Contributor(s): John Harschutz
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • JBoss

    - JBoss is a division of Red Hat that provides support for the JBoss open source application server program and related middleware services marketed under the JBoss Enterprise Middleware brand. (WhatIs.com)

  • GPU supercomputer

    - A GPU supercomputer is a networked group of computers with multiple graphics processing units working as general-purpose GPUs (GPGPUs) in tandem on a single task. (WhatIs.com)

  • video card (graphics card)

    - A video adapter (alternate terms include graphics card, display adapter, video card, video board and almost any combination of the words in these terms) is an integrated circuit card in a computer ... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.