There are several different definitions of the word protocol. One deals with diplomacy and treaties or negotiations between states, while another deals with a medical or scientific plan of study or treatment. A third definition relates to computer networking.
Generally speaking, a protocol is a method of controlling the discourse between two or more parties, unless when speaking about a medical protocol. Then, it is the process, governed by rules, by which medical care is administered.
Computer network protocols come in a wide variety. One of the best known network protocols is TCP/IP, which stands for Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol. These protocols regulate how data is packaged to send from one computer to another, and forms the backbone of the contemporary Internet.