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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Lower-Layer (Interface, Internet and Transport) Protocols (OSI Layers 2, 3 and 4)
      9  TCP/IP Network Interface / Internet "Layer Connection" Protocols

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TCP/IP Network Interface / Internet "Layer Connection" Protocols
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Address Resolution Concepts and Issues
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Address Resolution and the TCP/IP Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

Communication on an internetwork is accomplished by sending data at layer three using a network layer address, but the actual transmission of that data occurs at layer two using a data link layer address. This means that every device with a fully-specified networking protocol stack will have both a layer two and a layer three address. It is necessary to define some way of being able to link these addresses together. Usually, this is done by taking a network layer address and determining what data link layer address goes with it. This process is called address resolution.

In this section I look at the problem of address resolution at both a conceptual and practical level, with a focus on how it is done in the important TCP/IP protocol suite. I begin with a section that overviews address resolution in general terms and describes the issues involved in the process. I then describe the TCP/IP Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), probably the best-known and most commonly used address resolution technique. I also provide a brief overview of how address resolution is done for multicast addresses in IP, and the method used in the new IP version 6.

Quick navigation to subsections and regular topics in this section



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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005

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