in a network architecture can two layers in different machines communicate between each other using some protocols, without having to go through the layers below, if yes how briefly ?

  • $\begingroup$ You should probably wait a little while before accepting an answer. Maybe somebody will come along and say the exact opposite of what I said! $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2015 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ Let’s side-step "can?" and give a resounding NO to "should?". Even if you could, it would be A Bad Thing. There are very good reasons for having equivalent functionality on the same layers at each side of a network interface. I assume that you are well aware of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model and are just speculating here. Otherwise - bad programmer! BAAAD programmer!! No pizza!! $\endgroup$
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


No. Ultimately, for two computers to communicate, something physical (such as a bunch of electrons or photons) must pass between them and that's the lowest possible level of the OSI model.

In general, though, you shouldn't view the layers too rigidly. They're a vocabulary for talking about networking, rather than a requirement for writing network protocols.

  • $\begingroup$ I suppose that what is possible is for a layer to skip the hierarchy and talk several levels below on the same machine. But I doubt it is recommended. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ @babou It's actually pretty common: very little goes on at layers 5 and 6 in TCP/IP, for example, so the application layer (7) tends to talk directly to the transport layer (4). $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2015 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ but generally on the same machine & OP is asking about different machines (and, personally, I would still make them speak through the intervening layers, even if they only provide a pipeline) $\endgroup$
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 13:00

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