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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. The protocols and technologies
work as a team to accomplish the goal of communication across the network.
Like any team, no single member can get the job done alone, no matter
how good they are. Still, if we were to try to pick a most
valuable player in the world of networking, a good case could
be made that we have it here in this section: the TCP/IP Internet
Even though it gets second
billing in the name of the TCP/IP protocol suite, IP is in fact
the workhorse of TCP/IP. It implements key network-layer
functions including addressing, datagram
handling and routing, and is the foundation upon which other TCP/IP
protocols are built. Even the ones lower in the TCP/IP
architecture such as ARP
are easier to understand when you know how IP works. In addition to
the main functions implemented by the IP protocol itself, there are
also several protocols that have been developed over the years that
I call IP-Related because they are based on IP but add new
functionality or capabilities for special purposes.
In this section I provide considerable
coverage of the TCP/IP Internet Protocol and to several protocols that
are closely related to IP. I begin with a section that takes a general
look at IP concepts and provides an overview of how IP works. I then
have a large section that looks at IP version 4, the current version
of the protocol that is in use on TCP/IP networks everywhere. Following
this I look at the next generation of IP, IP version 6.
I then provide sections covering three IP-related protocols: the IP
Network Address Translation protocol (IP NAT), the IP Security protocol
set (IPSec), and the adaptation of IP for mobile devices (Mobile IP).
Note: The primary focus in this section is on the current version of IP, IPv4, because it is the one that is in widest use at the present time. I would therefore advise reading the IPv4 section before proceeding to the other sub-sections here, unless you are already familiar with it. To avoid duplication, the section on IP version 6 is structured primarily to show how IPv6 differs from IPv4. Similarly, the sections on IP NAT, IPSec and Mobile IP build upon some of the concepts in the IPv4 section.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
© Copyright 2001-2005 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
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