The concept of a network layer or ‘layered network’, was developed to account for the rapid changes that occur in technology. This concept allowed for the inclusion of newly developed protocols to work alongside one another to achieve a specified task, for example a secure file transfer.

The Higher layers of a network are closer to the user and deal with more abstract data, relying on lower layers to convert data into forms that can be physically manipulated for transmission.

The separate network layers are designed to perform a specific task, each layer passing information up and down to the next subsequent layer as data is processed.