OSI Layer

350 pts.
Data-Link layer
OSI Layer 3
What is the difference between layer 2 and layer 3 in the OSI model?

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Hello Eglimore,

The layer2 is called as data link layer which deals with data below the network layer that is layer 3. Layer2 deals with MAC addresses and layer 3 deals with the IP addresses. This is a major difference.

Hope this will help you.

You may also wish to visit this other OSI Model answer on IT Knowledge Exchange.

The above answer is in fact correct. If I may elaborate just a bit. In order for two devices that are directly connected to one another over a medium (copper, fiber, air, etc) to communicate they must place the data, typically an IP packet, inside of a “layer two package” called a frame. These frames identify the sender and receiver with source and destination addresses. In a LAN (typically ethernet environment) this layer 2 address is referred to as a MAC address. As traffic moves through an interconnected network it typically passes across gateways or routers which are used to connect the networks of devices or wires to one another. When a router receives a frame with its address as the destination it opens it, looks at the layer three address (IP address usually) and compares it to a list of networks that it knows about. This list is called a forwarding or routing table. This table is used by the router to make a decision about what interface to forward the traffic out of to get to the destination network. It repackages the layer 3 packet in a new frame based on the exit interface type and places the layer 2 address of the directly connected device in the destination field. The new frame (containing the original data packet) is then passed to the next directly connected device where the process is repeated until the traffic reaches it’s ultimate destination. I hope that this is clear without being more info than you needed.

Brent Mossberger, CCSI

Discuss This Question: 4  Replies

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  • BlankReg
    The difference is one layer, and you should really do your own homework questions, and not ask someone else to answer them for you.
    12,325 pointsBadges:
  • BlankReg
    Why the hell are all these old questions getting bumped ? Are there no new ones being asked ? I would rather not see any, than have these old questions shoved at me, because answering them is pointless 2-5 years after they were originally asked.
    12,325 pointsBadges:
  • TomLiotta
    The "bumps" are apparently a side-effect of various updates to items stored in the ITKE database where cleanup is going on. I agree it's unfortunate that those appear at the top of daily lists when their 'Update' status changes. IMO, it's doubly unfortunate that it's happening when the format has changed. See Welcome to the (slightly) new ITKnowledgeExchange for a comment area. -- Tom
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  • Brijesh
    This two layer refers to two different network communication have a look at this Layer 2 Versus Layer 3 Networking in OSI which may help you.
    14,450 pointsBadges:

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