Microcom Networking Protocol


Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) is a set of data link layer protocols for modems. Developed by Microcom Inc., these protocols offer error detection and correction, data compression, and reliable delivery of packets. MNP is especially used when transmitting data over noisy phone lines, ensuring data integrity despite shaky communication paths.


The phonetics of ‘Microcom Networking Protocol’ are: ‘Microcom’ – /ˈmaɪkrəʊ.kɒm/’Networking’ – /ˈnetˌwɜːrkɪŋ/’Protocol’ – /ˈprəʊtəkɒl/

Key Takeaways

  1. Use in Data Communications: Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) is a communication protocol primarily used in data communication, particularly in modem technology to ensure data integrity and error correction.
  2. Error Correction Ability: MNP includes a feature for error correction to improve data reliability during transmission. With its different classes like MNP 1-4 and MNP 5-10, it provides different levels of error detection and correction.
  3. Adaptability and Compatibility: MNP is designed to be adaptive and compatible with many system setups. It can adjust its throughput based on line conditions and it is also backwards compatible, meaning it can work with previous versions of the protocol.


The technology term Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) is significant because it provides crucial error-checking procedures to maintain data integrity during modem-based communications. Developed by Microcom Inc., it is particularly useful for noisy telecommunication environments where a high degree of data accuracy is essential. Its suite of protocols, referred to as MNP 1-10, revolve around diverse features like data compression, error control, and flow control mechanisms. Particularly, MNP 4–7 are renowned as they render advanced error control techniques that strive to ensure an error-free data transmission path by fixing errors that take place during the transfer of data, thereby enhancing communication reliability and efficiency—tools that have been fundamentally important in the evolution of networking protocols and communications technology.


Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) serves a crucial purpose in mitigating the risks of errors during data transmission. This technology term refers to a series of error control protocols that function to reliably deliver data across unreliable or noisy communication lines, such as telephone lines. They are intended to enhance the quality of data transmission by inspecting data packets for potential errors, and then retransmitting those found to be faulty. MNP’s significance lies in its usage in modems to ensure high-speed data transmission. Each class of MNP, from Class 1 to Class 10, is designed to cater to the specifications of a different combination of data, speed, and communications hardware. They are instrumental in making modems more reliable and efficient, enhancing their data compression, and improving their throughput rates. Thus, Microcom Networking Protocol underpins the functional effectiveness of various computer networks.


Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) is a communication protocol used in modems for error correction and data compression. This technology is less visible today with the advancement of more modern communication and networking protocols, but it had its notable uses in the past. Here are three examples:1. Dial-up Internet Access: Before the prominence of broadband connections, the internet was mostly accessed through dialup modems using regular telephone lines. These modems often employed MNP to ensure data sent and received was as error-free as possible, despite the relatively noisy telephone line conditions.2. Fax Machines: Some older generation fax machines used MNP as their error correction and control protocol. This helped in ensuring the transmission of faxes without any errors in the data, maintaining the quality and reliability of the service.3. Satellite Communication: MNP has been used in certain satellite communication networks such as Inmarsat, which often deal with high levels of data corruption due to their transmission medium. The error correction capabilities of MNP can help maintain data integrity in these situations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP)?**A: Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) is a series of communication protocols developed by Microcom Inc. They are primarily used for error correction and data compression in modems.**Q: What is the primary function of the Microcom Networking Protocol?**A: The primary function of the Microcom Networking Protocol is to correct and detect errors during data transmission and also compress data to increase the efficiency of data transfer.**Q: How many classes are under the Microcom Networking Protocol?**A: There are ten classes under the Microcom Networking Protocol, labeled from MNP1 to MNP10. Each of these classes pertains to a different aspect of error correction and/or data compression.**Q: What is MNP5 specifically used for?**A: MNP5 is mainly used for data compression. It works in conjunction with other MNP classes like MNP2, MNP3, and MNP4, which are dedicated to error correction.**Q: Is MNP still widely used?**A: The use of MNP has decreased considerably with the advent of newer technologies and protocols. However, it is still used in some devices and systems due to its robust error correction capabilities.**Q: Can MNP work with any type of data transmission?**A: MNP was designed to work with serial data transmission, both asynchronous and synchronous. However, it is most widely used with modems for the transmission of digital data over analog phone lines.**Q: Are MNP protocols proprietary?**A: Initially, MNP protocols were proprietary to Microcom Inc. However, due to their effectiveness, they were later adopted and integrated into modems from other manufacturers.**Q: What is the role of MNP10?**A: MNP10 extends the capabilities of the MNP protocols over unreliable and high-latency networks like satellite links. It introduces packet acknowledgement schemes to increase the reliability of data transfer.**Q: How does MNP help to improve data transmission speed?**A: MNP improves data transmission speed primarily by compressing data via MNP5 and reducing the number of errors during transmission with MNP Classes 1 to 4. By reducing errors and compressing data, MNP helps to enhance the overall efficiency of data transmission.

Related Tech Terms

  • Packet Switching
  • Data Transmission
  • Modem
  • Network Protocol Architecture
  • Router

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