The TCP/IP Guide provides a thorough description
of the TCP/IP protocol suite, as well as additional materials needed by any
student of internetworking. The Guide begins with a fundamentals section
containing essential background information, and a complete discussion of
the OSI Reference Model. It then describes the TCP/IP protocol suite in
general terms, before exploring the specific protocols that comprise it.
Extensive discussion is provided of both the core protocols that make TCP/IP
internetworks function, and the most important classical TCP/IP
The description of each protocol includes examples,
illustrations and discussions of how the protocol was developed and its role
in the TCP/IP suite as a whole. Amongst the protocols covered by The TCP/IP
Guide are (in increasing layer order): SLIP, PPP, IP, IPv6, IP NAT, IPSec,
Mobile IP, ICMP, ICMPv6, IPv6 ND, RIP, OSPF, GGP, HELLO, IGRP, EIGRP, BGP,
EGP, TCP, UDP, DNS, NFS, BOOTP, DHCP, SNMP, RMON, FTP, TFTP, RFC 822, MIME,
SMTP, POP3, IMAP, NNTP, HTTP, Telnet and IRC.
The following is a more complete description of the major content areas
of the download or CD versions of The TCP/IP Guide (for even more detail than this, please view the full
Table of Contents). Of course, you can also check out
the entire Guide for yourself by reading the free
- Networking Fundamentals: A general discussion of important
background material that those learning about networks need to know.
Includes a look at the benefits and disadvantages of networking, a
review of key networking characteristics and network types and sizes, a
discussion of network performance issues, explanation of networking
standards issues and organizations, and a backgrounder on computing
mathematics (including octal and hexadecimal numbers, conversions and
- OSI Reference Model: A complete description of the ISO Open
System Interconnection (OSI) Reference Model. This section covers the
reasons why the OSI model is important, discusses essential concepts and
terminology, and describes each model layer individually. It also has an
example and summary table.
- TCP/IP Overview: The first section about TCP/IP itself
provides a high-level overview of the suite. This includes a brief
discussion of its history, TCP/IP architecture, TCP/IP's client/server
model of operation, and a summary table of TCP/IP protocols and their
- TCP/IP Network Interface Protocols: A full discussion of the
role and function of network interface (layer two) TCP/IP protocols,
used to enable TCP/IP to work directly over physical links. This section
provides a brief description of the Serial Line Interface Protocol
(SLIP) and a complete discussion of the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP),
including link setup, PPP's constituent subprotocols, and features such
as compression, encryption and multilink PPP.
- TCP/IP Address Resolution Protocols: A description of the
importance of address resolution, a full discussion of the Address
Resolution Protocol (ARP), including caching and proxying, and a brief
explanation of the Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP).
- Internet Protocol (IP): Extensive coverage of the Internet
Protocol (IP) including an overview and history, addressing, datagram
encapsulation, fragmentation and reassembly, and routing.
- IP Addressing: Almost 100 pages are devoted just to IP
addressing alone. The subjects covered here are addressing concepts and
structures, addressing types, IPv4 address classes, multicast
addressing, subnet addressing, variable-length subnet masking (VLSM) and
classless addressing (CIDR). A complete section is also provided that
shows step by step how to subnet a network, with multiple examples.
- Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6): One of the most
comprehensive descriptions of the new and essential version 6 of the
Internet Protocol, outside of books dedicated to that subject. This
section discusses why IPv6 is important, and covers all the key changes
between IPv4 and IPv6. It extensively discusses IPv6 addressing types
and issues, IPv6 datagram formatting, IPv6 extension headers and
options, and how datagrams are fragmented and routed in IPv6.
- IP-Related Protocols: Three sections that cover in detail
important protocols closely related to IP. The first discusses IP
Network Address Translation (IP NAT), showing how four different types
of network translation work. The second is on IP Security (IPSec), and
discusses IPSec architecture, tunnel and transport modes, security
associations, and the authentication header (AH) and encapsulating
security payload (ESP). The third describes fully how Mobile IP can be
used to support TCP/IP operation on traveling nodes.
- IP Support Protocols: A full discussion of two protocols that
support the operation of IP. The Internet Control Message Protocol is
described fully for both IP and IPv6 (ICMP and ICMPv6), including a
description of each of the ICMP message types. The Neighbor Discovery
(ND) protocol is also described for IPv6.
- TCP/IP Routing Protocols: While not specifically devoted to
routing, The TCP/IP Guide provides a fairly detailed discussion of
routing protocol issues, and covers the Routing Information Protocol
(RIP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
routing protocols fairly comprehensively. Other routing protocols are
also described more briefly: GGP, HELLO, IGRP, EIGRP, and
- TCP/IP Transport Protocols: A description of transport layer
addressing (ports and sockets) and the two TCP/IP transport layer
protocols: the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Transmission Control
Protocol (TCP). The critically-important and often complicated TCP is
covered extensively in over 100 pages. This includes a discussion of TCP
functions and characteristics, and a fully-illustrated explanation of
sliding windows, TCP streams and segments, TCP connection establishment
and management, message formatting, retransmission mechanisms, flow
control, window size adjustment, and congestion avoidance.
- TCP/IP Name Systems: A description of the general concepts
behind name systems, the use of host tables, and the TCP/IP Domain Name
System (DNS). The section on DNS covers its components and functions,
the DNS name space structure and notation, DNS name registration and
top-level domains, DNS resource records and name server operation, DNS
resolvers, name resolution and caching, and DNS message transfer and
master file format.
- TCP/IP Network File System: A quick look at the Network File
System (NFS), showing how it can be used to allow users to seamlessly
share resources across an internetwork. This includes a discussion of
NFS architecture, data storage, client/server operation and the Mount
- TCP/IP Host Configuration Protocols: Two technologies used to
allow devices to be automatically configured: the Boot Protocol (BOOTP)
and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). The DHCP section
explains how DHCP leases work, the processes of lease allocation,
reallocation, renewal, rebinding and release, DHCP message formats, DHCP
server and client operation, security issues and more.
- TCP/IP Network Management Protocols: A full coverage of the
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). This includes a discussion of
the many often-confusing SNMP versions, the Structure of Management
Information (SMI), Management Information Bases (MIBs), the operation of
the SNMP protocol itself, and Remote Monitoring (RMON).
- TCP/IP General File Transfer Protocols: A section describing
the operation of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Trivial File
Transfer Protocol (TFTP). The FTP section covers the FTP operational
model, control and data connections, port usage, communication and
transfer modes, and command and reply codes.
- TCP/IP Electronic Mail Protocols: E-mail is one of the most
important applications on the modern Internet; since it is really a
system of related protocols and technologies, The TCP/IP Guide describes
it accordingly. The discussion includes an overview of electronic mail,
a look at addressing methods and message formats (including regular RFC
822 and enhanced MIME messages), and coverage of the Simple Mail
Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol (POP3) and Internet
Message Access Protocol (IMAP).
- TCP/IP Usenet System and Protocols: A description of the
Usenet newsgroup communication system, with particular emphasis on the
operation of the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP).
- TCP/IP World Wide Web: The World Wide Web is arguably the
most important application in the history of networking; The TCP/IP
Guide describes the Web in general terms, including a brief look at
Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) and the Hypertext Markup Language
(HTML). Most of the section is devoted to a comprehensive explanation of
the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), including connections,
pipelining, message formats, methods, status codes, media types, data
transfer, content negotiation, caching, proxying, security issues and
- TCP/IP Interactive and Remote Application Protocols: A brief
description of the important Telnet protocol, used for interactive
remote host access. This includes explanation of the Telnet Network
Virtual Terminal (NVT), Telnet connections, protocol commands and
options. The Guide also provides an overview of the Berkeley remote
("r") protocols: rlogin, rsh, rcp, ruptime and rwho.
- TCP/IP Administration and Troubleshooting Utilities: Last but
not least, a thorough explanation of the operation and command set of
several key utilities used to manage and diagnose problems in TCP/IP
internetworks. These include hostname, ping, traceroute, arp, nslookup,
host, dig, whois, netstat, ipconfig, ifconfig and more.
© 2003-2015 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.