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Network Socket

When an internal endpoint is used to send as well as receive data in a computer network at a single node then it is called a network socket. It is a form of system resource and essentially represents endpoint in protocol stack or in networking software. When you make an entry in a table including a listing of status, destination, communication protocol, and others, then they are making endpoint representation in networking software.

Now, let’s have a look at what “socket” means? It is analogous to a physical female connector, which is being used to communicate between two nodes via a channel. This channel is essentially a visualized cable having two male connectors that are capable of being plugged in sockets at each node.

Another term related to network socket is the “port”. It is nothing but a female connector that is being used at a node for external endpoints. The term “socket” is essentially an internal endpoint that is being used for making local IPC (or Inter-Process Communication). When IPC is mentioned, it should be kept in mind that the communication is done by the internal endpoint, not over a network.

Network sockets are local in nature and are associated with a specific node only. First of all, a computer program process requests the creation of a socket by the protocol stack. Then the stack responds by returning a descriptor to the process for socket identification. Once the socket is identified, the process uses it to send the descriptor back to the protocol stack for sending or receiving data.

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