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Internet Protocol
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Internet protocol suite

IP routing is performed by all hosts, as well as routers , whose main function is to transport packets across network boundaries. Routers communicate with one another via specially designed routing protocols , either interior gateway protocols or exterior gateway protocols , as needed for the topology of the network. A central control component of this model was the "Transmission Control Program" that incorporated both connection-oriented links and datagram services between hosts.

The monolithic Transmission Control Program was later divided into a modular architecture consisting of the Transmission Control Protocol and User Datagram Protocol at the transport layer and the Internet Protocol at the network layer. IP versions 0 to 3 were experimental versions, used between and The dominant internetworking protocol in the Internet Layer in use today is IPv4 ; the number 4 is the protocol version number carried in every IP datagram.

Version 5 was used by the Internet Stream Protocol , an experimental streaming protocol. The successor to IPv4 is IPv6. Its most prominent difference from version 4 is the size of the addresses. While IPv4 uses 32 bits for addressing, yielding c. Although adoption of IPv6 has been slow, as of June [update] , all United States government systems have demonstrated basic infrastructure support for IPv6. The assignment of the new protocol as IPv6 was uncertain until due diligence revealed that IPv6 had not yet been used previously.

Under the end-to-end principle, the network infrastructure is considered inherently unreliable at any single network element or transmission medium and is dynamic in terms of availability of links and nodes.

No central monitoring or performance measurement facility exists that tracks or maintains the state of the network. For the benefit of reducing network complexity , the intelligence in the network is purposely located in the end nodes. As a consequence of this design, the Internet Protocol only provides best-effort delivery and its service is characterized as unreliable.

In network architectural language, it is a connectionless protocol , in contrast to connection-oriented communication. Various error conditions may occur, such as data corruption , packet loss and duplication. Because routing is dynamic, meaning every packet is treated independently, and because the network maintains no state based on the path of prior packets, different packets may be routed to the same destination via different paths, resulting in out-of-order delivery to the receiver.

All error conditions in the network must be detected and compensated by the participating end nodes. The IETF explicitly does not intend to discuss transmission systems, which is a less academic [25] [ citation needed ] but practical alternative to the OSI model. The link layer has the networking scope of the local network connection to which a host is attached. The link layer is used to move packets between the Internet layer interfaces of two different hosts on the same link. The processes of transmitting and receiving packets on a given link can be controlled both in the software device driver for the network card , as well as on firmware or specialized chipsets.

These perform data link functions such as adding a packet header to prepare it for transmission, then actually transmit the frame over a physical medium. All other aspects below that level, however, are implicitly assumed to exist in the link layer, but are not explicitly defined.

This is also the layer where packets may be selected to be sent over a virtual private network or other networking tunnel. In this scenario, the link layer data may be considered application data which traverses another instantiation of the IP stack for transmission or reception over another IP connection.

Such a connection, or virtual link, may be established with a transport protocol or even an application scope protocol that serves as a tunnel in the link layer of the protocol stack. The internet layer has the responsibility of sending packets across potentially multiple networks. Internetworking requires sending data from the source network to the destination network.

This process is called routing. The internet layer is not only agnostic of data structures at the transport layer, but it also does not distinguish between operation of the various transport layer protocols. IP carries data for a variety of different upper layer protocols. These protocols are each identified by a unique protocol number: The internet layer provides an unreliable datagram transmission facility between hosts located on potentially different IP networks by forwarding the transport layer datagrams to an appropriate next-hop router for further relaying to its destination.

With this functionality, the internet layer makes possible internetworking, the interworking of different IP networks, and it essentially establishes the Internet. The Internet Protocol is the principal component of the internet layer, and it defines two addressing systems to identify network hosts' computers, and to locate them on the network. It uses a bit IP address and is therefore capable of identifying approximately four billion hosts.

This limitation was eliminated in by the standardization of Internet Protocol version 6 IPv6 which uses bit addresses. IPv6 production implementations emerged in approximately The transport layer establishes basic data channels that applications use for task-specific data exchange. The layer establishes host-to-host connectivity, meaning it provides end-to-end message transfer services that are independent of the structure of user data and the logistics of exchanging information for any particular specific purpose and independent of the underlying network.

The protocols in this layer may provide error control , segmentation , flow control , congestion control , and application addressing port numbers. End-to-end message transmission or connecting applications at the transport layer can be categorized as either connection-oriented , implemented in TCP, or connectionless , implemented in UDP.

For the purpose of providing process-specific transmission channels for applications, the layer establishes the concept of the network port. This is a numbered logical construct allocated specifically for each of the communication channels an application needs. For many types of services, these port numbers have been standardized so that client computers may address specific services of a server computer without the involvement of service announcements or directory services.

Because IP provides only a best effort delivery , some transport layer protocols offer reliability. For example, the TCP is a connection-oriented protocol that addresses numerous reliability issues in providing a reliable byte stream:. It is message-stream-oriented—not byte-stream-oriented like TCP—and provides multiple streams multiplexed over a single connection.

It also provides multi-homing support, in which a connection end can be represented by multiple IP addresses representing multiple physical interfaces , such that if one fails, the connection is not interrupted. It was developed initially for telephony applications to transport SS7 over IP , but can also be used for other applications. The User Datagram Protocol is a connectionless datagram protocol.

Like IP, it is a best effort, "unreliable" protocol. Reliability is addressed through error detection using a weak checksum algorithm. Real-time Transport Protocol RTP is a datagram protocol that is designed for real-time data such as streaming audio and video. By convention certain well known ports are associated with specific applications.

The application layer includes the protocols used by most applications for providing user services or exchanging application data over the network connections established by the lower level protocols.

This may include some basic network support services such as protocols for routing and host configuration. Such functions are the realm of libraries and application programming interfaces. Application layer protocols generally treat the transport layer and lower protocols as black boxes which provide a stable network connection across which to communicate, although the applications are usually aware of key qualities of the transport layer connection such as the end point IP addresses and port numbers.

Application layer protocols are often associated with particular client-server applications, and common services have well-known port numbers reserved by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority IANA.

Clients connecting to a service usually use ephemeral ports , i. For this reason, the subsections and topics in this discussion of IPv6 are patterned after the subsections in the section on IPv4. They include a discussion of IPv6 concepts and issues, coverage of IPv6 addressing and data packaging, and a look at how version 6 does fragmentation, reassembly and routing. To avoid unnecessary duplication, this section has been written with the assumption that the reader is familiar with the operation of IPv4, especially addressing and how datagrams are packaged and delivered.

If you have not read the section on IPv4 , reviewing it first would be wise, because the description of IPv6 focuses on how it differs from the current IP version.

However, it is not necessary. IPv6 is obviously still under development, and as such, writing a section such as this one is like trying to hit a moving target. I think it is important, so I have described it as defined on the date of publishing. However, since changes are being made to both IPv6 standards and implementation every month, there is a higher probability of information in this particular section being out of date. I had to make several revisions even prior to publishing the first version of this Guide!

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The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries. Its routing function enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet.. IP has the task of delivering packets from the source host to the destination host solely based on the IP . The Internet protocol suite is the conceptual model and set of communications protocols used on the Internet and similar computer hawaiianlion.gq is commonly known as TCP/IP because the foundational protocols in the suite are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). It is occasionally known as the Department of . Internet Protocol (IP/IPv4, IPng/IPv6) and IP-Related Protocols (IP NAT, IPSec, Mobile IP) The idea of singling out any one protocol as being more important than the others in a network is kind of pointless, if you think about it.