6 Important Functions of Presentation layer in OSI model

Do you know about the presentation layer in OSI model? What is the functions of Presentation Layer? All these things have been told in this article. If you want complete information about Presentation Layer, then you have come to the right place. After reading this article completely, you will have complete knowledge about the presentation layer & its responsibility of the OSI model. So without delay let’s start.

What is Presentation layer in OSI model?

The presentation layer resides between the session layer and the application layer. The presentation layer is the sixth layer in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. This layer is also called the translation layer because it receives the data from the session layer or application layer and then translates that data and sends it to the language of the receiver layer.

The presentation layer is also called the syntax layer as it is responsible for maintaining the proper syntax of data that it either receives or transmits to another layer. The primary responsibility of this layer is to provide or define data format and encryption.

Simply put, different machines connected to the network may use different languages or syntax, so when one machine sends information to another machine, the presentation layer takes care of this. So that the machine receiving the information can understand the information and can also use that information. This means the presentation layer acts as a translator for the OSI model.

6 important functions of Presentation layer

The presentation layer in OSI model has 4 functions and responsibilities. Some of them we have mentioned below.

Code conversion

The presentation layer translates data from the format used by the application layer into a common format that can be understood by both the sender and the receiver. It converts data from different character encoding schemes, such as ASCII, EBCDIC and Unicode to ensure compatibility between computer systems with different encoding standards. That’s why code conversion plays a major role in the presentation layer.

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Data Encryption / Decryption

The Presentation layer can provide encryption and decryption services to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data during transmission. Nowadays all multinational companies and all small and big companies have started paying attention to cyber security. Hence its need has increased.

When transferring data over a network, data encryption is needed to secure that information from hackers. When the data reaches its destination only then it is decrypted.

When we send information to one or many users without encrypting it, there is a possibility of threat detection in it. So the data is kept encrypted. Thereby it prevents any other user from reading that data.

Data Compression

When we send data packets to other users through the internet, only some gaps and some repeated data remain in those data packets. To remove that gap and redundancy, we have to compress the data packets.

You must have used software named WinRAR on your computer. Just like any files and folders are compressed through this software, in the same way, data packets are also compressed. So that the size of the data decreases.

Both advantages and disadvantages occur through this compression. The advantage is that the size of the data packet decreases and sending it via the internet is easy. The disadvantage is that some data in the data packet gets lost at some times.

Data Formatting and Syntax

The presentation layer handles the formatting and syntax of the data to ensure that it is properly structured for interpretation by the receiving device. This includes converting data into a standard format or applying specific formatting rules, such as XML or JSON, to enable interoperability between different systems.

Data Protocol Conversion

This layer can convert data from one protocol to another. It is useful when devices or systems using different communication protocols need to exchange data. The presentation layer translates data from one protocol format to another, enabling seamless communication between different systems.

Data Integrity Checks

The presentation layer may include mechanisms for data integrity checking, such as error detection codes or checksums. These checks ensure that the received data is free from errors or corruption that occurred during transmission. If the error is detected then only that data is re-transmitted from the sender.

Features of Presentation layer in OSI model

The presentation layer is one of the most important layers of the OSI model. This OSI model is the 6th layer. This layer is helpful in making uninterrupted communication between two devices by becoming a translator. Some features of presentation layer is given below.

  • The most important feature of the presentation layer is that it converts the language of one device into the language understood by the other device. So that communication between different devices can be established in OSI model.
  • Whenever data is transmitted from presentation layer to session layer or from presentation layer to application layer, that data remains encrypted. Due to which the unauthorized user could not be able to read that data.
  • This layer encrypts the data at the send end and decrypts the data at the receiver end. So that the data remains confidential between the sender and the receiver.
  • In the presentation layer, the data is compressed in such a way that very little internet is used by sending that data packet. Compressing the data packet removes that unuse space in the data packet and removes the multiple value if it is written. Due to which the size of the data packet is also reduced.

Presentation layer Protocols

In the presentation layer, the data packet is translated, encrypted and compressed. For all these protocols of different types are used in the presentation layer. A list of some important protocols is given below.

Apple Filing Protocol (AFP)

This protocol is a network protocol, which helps in the exchange of data on Apple’s laptop or computer device. This protocol is specifically designed for Apple devices.

Independent Computing Architecture (ICA)

Independent Computing Architecture is a protocol designed for application server systems.

Lightweight Presentation Protocol (LPA)

Lightweight Presentation Protocol is that protocol that is used to provide ISO presentation services on top of TCP/IP-based protocol stacks.

Netware Core Protocol (NCP)

NetWare Core Protocol is a protocol using which print, clock synchronization, directory, message, remote comment, etc. can be accessed.

Network Data Representation (NDR)

The Network Data Representation Protocol is basically an implementation of the presentation layer in the OSI model, which is providing or defining various primitive data types, constructed data types, and many types of data representations.

External Data Representation (XDR)

This protocol is used for data distribution and encoding. It transfers data within the computer architecture. It helps in encoding and decoding of data.


In conclusion, the presentation layer is the sixth layer of the OSI model, which presents the information exchanged through the network in a simple and understandable form to the machines.

It also encrypts and decrypts information to protect it from hackers and unauthorized access. Along with this, the Presentation Layer also compresses and shrinks the information to transfer it easily.

In today’s article, complete information about the presentation layer in OSI model & functions of presentation layer has been given. I hope that you must have understood the presentation layer by reading this article Presentation Layer in OSI model.

If you have any doubts, then you can tell us by writing in the comment box. We will do our best to solve your doubts. If you liked this article then do share it with your family, and friends. Thanks.

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