The sixth layer of the OSI model is the presentation layer. It takes care of the syntax and semantics of the information exchanged between two communicating systems. Its primary goal is to send data in such a way that the receiver will understand and be able to use the information.

The presentation layer is responsible for interoperability between encoding methods as different systems use different encoding methods. It translates data between the formats the network and the format the computer requires. This layer doesn’t care about what the actual data is. It’s merely a translation stage for data formats. It also provides data encryption and decryption of sensitive data before it is transmitted over common channels.

The presentation layer carries out data compression at the source to reduce the number of bits to be transmitted, thus reducing the storage space and increasing the file transfer rate. It is useful for the transmission of large multimedia files.

The main functions which presentation layer performs in sending computer are convert, compress and encrypt, while in receiving computer there are reconvert, decompress and decrypt. JPEG, BMP, GIF, ASCII, WAV, AVI, and MPEG are the few examples of standards and protocols which work in this layer.

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