This article is from the Mac communications FAQ, by Bruce L Grubb BruceG6069@aol.com with numerous contributions by others.
For the most part the answer to this question is no though there are
some Unix and Internet protocals you should know about. The ones
followed by a * you need to be aware of.
DNS (Domain Name Server) *
desinates the servers that translates domain names to IP
numbers. If this server has problems then you cannot use
domain names at all and have to use IP numbers. Two Mac
programs that do DNS lookup are DNS Lookup and MacTCP Watcher.
NFS (Network File System)
file sharing protocol used by many UNIX workstations. The
average Internet surfer doesn't need to worry about this as
most file transfers involve FTP or HTTP not NFS. The one commecrcial
product that allows NFS to be used on the MacOS is:
PathWay Client NFS from Attachmate
NNTP (Net News Transfer Protocol) *
a protocol used to transfer articles between a central news
server and many client machines over TCP/IP or a serial link.
Used by about every MacOS newreader program available.
SMTP (Simple-Mail-Transfer-Protocol) and POP (Post-Office-Protocol) *
These are two protocols for transfering electronic mail between
machines that have a TCP/IP interface or equivalent. Without
these you cannot send or receive e-mail.
UUCP (Unix-to-Unix-Copy) is a protocol originally intended to be
used to transfer files between Unix machines over telephone lines.
As with NFS it can be safely ignored by the average Internet