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Internet Protocol Suite

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The Internet Protocol Suite is the set of communications protocols used for the The Internet Protocol Suite
Print/export Internet and other similar networks. It is commonly also known as TCP/IP, named
Application Layer
from two of the most important protocols in it: the Transmission Control Protocol
(TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first two networking protocols
LDAP · Megaco · MGCP · NNTP · NTP · POP · RIP ·
defined in this standard. Modern IP networking represents a synthesis of several
developments that began to evolve in the 1960s and 1970s, namely the Internet
SSH · Telnet · TLS/SSL · XMPP ·
and local area networks, which emerged during the 1980s, together with the
advent of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s.
Transport Layer
The Internet Protocol Suite, like many protocol suites, is constructed as a set of

layers. Each layer solves a set of problems involving the transmission of data. In TCP · UDP · DCCP · SCTP · RSVP · ECN ·

particular, the layers define the operational scope of the protocols within. (more)

Often a component of a layer provides a well-defined services to the upper layer Internet Layer

protocols and may be using services from the lower layers. Upper layers are
IP (IPv4, IPv6) · ICMP · ICMPv6 · IGMP · IPsec ·
logically closer to the user and deal with more abstract data, relying on lower layer
protocols to translate data into forms that can eventually be physically transmitted.

Link Layer
The TCP/IP model consists of four layers (RFC 1122). From lowest to highest,

these are the Link Layer, the Internet Layer, the Transport Layer, and the ARP/InARP · NDP · OSPF · Tunnels (L2TP) · PPP · Media

Application Layer. Access Control (Ethernet, DSL, ISDN, FDDI) · (more)

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Contents [hide]

● 1 History

● 2 Layers in the Internet Protocol Suite

❍ 2.1 The concept of layers

❍ 2.2 Layer names and number of layers in the literature

● 3 Implementations

● 4 See also

● 5 References

● 6 Further reading

● 7 External links

History [edit]

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The Internet Protocol Suite resulted from research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

(DARPA) in the early 1970s. After initiating the pioneering ARPANET in 1969, DARPA started work on a number of other data transmission

technologies. In 1972, Robert E. Kahn joined the DARPA Information Processing Technology Office, where he worked on both satellite

packet networks and ground-based radio packet networks, and recognized the value of being able to communicate across both. In the

spring of 1973, Vinton Cerf, the developer of the existing ARPANET Network Control Program (NCP) protocol, joined Kahn to work on open-

architecture interconnection models with the goal of designing the next protocol generation for the ARPANET.

By the summer of 1973, Kahn and Cerf had worked out a fundamental reformulation, where the differences between network protocols

were hidden by using a common internetwork protocol, and, instead of the network being responsible for reliability, as in the ARPANET, the

hosts became responsible. Cerf credits Hubert Zimmerman and Louis Pouzin, designer of the CYCLADES network, with important

influences on this design.

The design of the network included the recognition that it should provide only the functions of efficiently transmitting and routing traffic

between end nodes and that all other intelligence should be located at the edge of the network, in the end nodes. Using a simple design, it

became possible to connect almost any network to the ARPANET, irrespective of their local characteristics, thereby solving Kahn's initial

problem. One popular saying has it that TCP/IP, the eventual product of Cerf and Kahn's work, will run over "two tin cans and a string."

A computer called a router (a name changed from gateway to avoid confusion with other types of gateways) is provided with an interface to

each network, and forwards packets back and forth between them. Requirements for routers are defined in (Request for Comments


The idea was worked out in more detailed form by Cerf's networking research group at Stanford in the 1973–74 period, resulting in the first

TCP specification.(Request for Comments 675) (The early networking work at Xerox PARC, which produced the PARC Universal Packet

protocol suite, much of which existed around the same period of time, was also a significant technical influence; people moved between the


DARPA then contracted with BBN Technologies, Stanford University, and the University College London to develop operational versions of

the protocol on different hardware platforms. Four versions were developed: TCP v1, TCP v2, a split into TCP v3 and IP v3 in the spring of

1978, and then stability with TCP/IP v4 — the standard protocol still in use on the Internet today.

In 1975, a two-network TCP/IP communications test was performed between Stanford and University College London (UCL). In November,

1977, a three-network TCP/IP test was conducted between sites in the US, UK, and Norway. Several other TCP/IP prototypes were

developed at multiple research centres between 1978 and 1983. The migration of the ARPANET to TCP/IP was officially completed on

January 1, 1983, when the new protocols were permanently activated.

In March 1982, the US Department of Defense declared TCP/IP as the standard for all military computer networking. In 1985, the Internet

Architecture Board held a three day workshop on TCP/IP for the computer industry, attended by 250 vendor representatives, promoting the

protocol and leading to its increasing commercial use.

Layers in the Internet Protocol Suite [edit]

The concept of layers [edit]

The TCP/IP suite uses encapsulation to provide abstraction of protocols and services. Such encapsulation usually is aligned with the

division of the protocol suite into layers of general functionality. In general, an application (the highest level of the model) uses a set of

protocols to send its data down the layers, being further encapsulated at each level.

This may be illustrated by an example network scenario, in which two Internet host computers communicate across local network

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boundaries constituted by their internetworking gateways (routers).

Encapsulation of application data descending through the protocol stack.

TCP/IP stack operating on two hosts connected via two

routers and the corresponding layers used at each hop

The functional groups of protocols and methods are the Application Layer, the Transport Layer, the Internet Layer, and the Link Layer (RFC

1122). It should be noted that this model was not intended to be a rigid reference model into which new protocols have to fit in order to be

accepted as a standard.

The following table provides some examples of the protocols grouped in their respective layers.


Telnet, Echo, RTP, PNRP, rlogin, ENRP

Routing protocols like BGP and RIP which run over TCP/UDP, may also be considered part of the

Internet Layer.


IP (IPv4, IPv6), ICMP, IGMP, and ICMPv6

Internet OSPF for IPv4 was initially considered IP layer protocol since it runs per IP-subnet, but has been placed

on the Link since RFC 2740.


Layer names and number of layers in the literature [edit]

The following table shows the layer names and the number of layers of networking models presented in RFCs and textbooks in widespread

use in today's university computer networking courses.

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Cisco [9] [11] Reference

Kurose Comer
[7] Tanenbaum [13]
RFC 1122 Stallings
[8] [10] [12] Model 1982
Academy Forouzan Kozierok

(RFC 871)

[14] [15] Four layers Five layers Four+one layers Five layers Three layers
Four layers Four layers

"TCP/IP "TCP/IP 5-layer "Arpanet
"Internet Internet model" or
reference "Internet model" reference "TCP/IP model" reference
citation needed "TCP/IP protocol
model"[ ]
[16] model" model"

[14][17] Application Application Application Application Application

Host-to-host or
[14] Transport Transport Transport Transport
transport Host-to-host

[14] Internet Internetwork Network Internet Internet


Data link
Network Network
[14] Host-to-network Data link (Network Network access
interface interface

Physical (Hardware) Physical

These textbooks are secondary sources that may contravene the intent of RFC 1122 and other IETF primary sources.

Different authors have interpreted the RFCs differently regarding the question whether the Link Layer (and the TCP/IP model) covers

Physical Layer issues, or if a hardware layer is assumed below the Link Layer. Some authors have tried to use other names for the Link

Layer, such as network interface layer, in view to avoid confusion with the Data Link Layer of the seven layer OSI model. Others have

attempted to map the Internet Protocol model onto the OSI Model. The mapping often results in a model with five layers where the Link

Layer is split into a Data Link Layer on top of a Physical Layer. In literature with a bottom-up approach to Internet communication,
in which hardware issues are emphasized, those are often discussed in terms of Physical Layer and Data Link Layer.

The Internet Layer is usually directly mapped into the OSI Model's Network Layer, a more general concept of network functionality. The

Transport Layer of the TCP/IP model, sometimes also described as the host-to-host layer, is mapped to OSI Layer 4 (Transport Layer),

sometimes also including aspects of OSI Layer 5 (Session Layer) functionality. OSI's Application Layer, Presentation Layer, and the

remaining functionality of the Session Layer are collapsed into TCP/IP's Application Layer. The argument is that these OSI layers do

citation needed
usually not exist as separate processes and protocols in Internet applications.[ ]

However, the Internet protocol stack has never been altered by the Internet Engineering Task Force from the four layers defined in RFC

citation needed
1122. The IETF makes no effort to follow the OSI model although RFCs sometimes refer to it. The IETF has repeatedly stated[ ]

that Internet protocol and architecture development is not intended to be OSI-compliant.

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RFC 3439, addressing Internet architecture, contains a section entitled: "Layering Considered Harmful".

Implementations [edit]

Most computer operating systems in use today, including all consumer-targeted systems, include a TCP/IP implementation.

Minimally acceptable implementation includes implementation for (from most essential to the less essential) IP, ARP, ICMP, UDP, TCP and

sometime IGMP. It is in principle possible to support only one of transport protocols (i.e. simple UDP), but it is rarely done, as it limits usage

of the whole implementation. IPv6, beyond own version of ARP (NBP), and ICMP (ICMPv6), and IGMP (IGMPv6) have some additional

required functionalities, and often is accompanied with integrated IPSec security layer. Other protocols could be easily added later (often

they can be implemented entirely in the userspace), for example DNS for resolving domain names to IP addresses or DHCP client for

automatic configuration of network interfaces.

Most of the IP implementations are accessible to the programmers using socket abstraction (usable also with other protocols) and proper

API for most of the operations. This interface is known as BSD sockets and was used initially in C.

Unique implementations include Lightweight TCP/IP, an open source stack designed for embedded systems and KA9Q NOS, a stack and

associated protocols for amateur packet radio systems and personal computers connected via serial lines.

See also [edit]

● List of network protocols Computer Science portal

● List of automation protocols

● List of TCP and UDP port numbers

● FLIP (Fast-Local-Internet-Protocol) another stack

References [edit]

1. ^ RFC 1122, Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication Layers, R. Braden (ed.), October 1989

2. ^ RFC 1123, Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Application and Support, R. Braden (ed.), October 1989

3. ^ Baker, Fred, ed (June 1995). Requirements for IP Version 4 Routers. Internet Engineering Task Force, Network Working Group. Request for

Comments 1812. http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1812. Retrieved 2009-09-22

4. ^ V.Cerf et al. (December 1974). "Specification of Internet Transmission Control Protocol". http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0675.txt.

5. ^ Internet History

6. ^ Ronda Hauben. "From the ARPANET to the Internet". TCP Digest (UUCP). http://www.columbia.edu/~rh120/other/tcpdigest_paper.txt.

Retrieved 2007-07-05.

7. ^ IETF, RFC 1122, p.7, "To communicate using the Internet system, a host must implement the layered set of protocols comprising the Internet

protocol suite. A host typically must implement at least one protocol from each layer."

8. ^ Mark Dye, Mark A. Dye, Wendell, Network Fundamentals: CCNA Exploration Companion Guide, 2007, ISBN 1-58713-208-7

9. ^ James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, 2008, ISBN 0-321-49770-8

10. ^ Behrouz A. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking

11. ^ Douglas E. Comer, Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols and Architecture, Pearson Prentice Hall 2005, ISBN 0-13-187671-6

12. ^ Charles M. Kozierok, "The TCP/IP Guide", No Starch Press 2005

13. ^ William Stallings, Data and Computer Communications, Prentice Hall 2006, ISBN 0-13-243310-9

14. ^ IETF, RFC 1122, p.7-8, "The protocol layers [...] are as follows [...]:[...] Application Layer [...] Transport Layer [...] Internet Layer [...] Link


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15. ^ Andrew Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, section 1.4.3, "[...] the OSI model has seven layers and the TCP/IP has four layers."

16. ^ Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2002). Computer Networks. Prentice Hall. p. 41. ISBN 0130661023. "1.4.2 The TCP/IP Reference Model" Excerpt at

Google Books

17. ^ IETF, RFC 1122, p.8, "The application layer is the top layer of the Internet protocol suite."

18. ^ R. Bush; D. Meyer (December 2002). Some Internet Architectural Guidelines and Philosophy. Internet Engineering Task Force. http://www.isi.

edu/in-notes/rfc3439.txt. Retrieved 2007-11-20

Further reading [edit]

● Douglas E. Comer. Internetworking with TCP/IP - Principles, Protocols and Architecture. ISBN 86-7991-142-9

● Joseph G. Davies and Thomas F. Lee. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 TCP/IP Protocols and Services. ISBN 0-7356-1291-9

● Forouzan, Behrouz A. (2003). TCP/IP Protocol Suite (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-246060-1.

● Craig Hunt TCP/IP Network Administration. O'Reilly (1998) ISBN 1-56592-322-7

● Maufer, Thomas A. (1999). IP Fundamentals. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-975483-0.

● Ian McLean. Windows(R) 2000 TCP/IP Black Book. ISBN 1-57610-687-X

● Ajit Mungale Pro .NET 1.1 Network Programming. ISBN 1-59059-345-6

● W. Richard Stevens. TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols. ISBN 0-201-63346-9

● W. Richard Stevens and Gary R. Wright. TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2: The Implementation. ISBN 0-201-63354-X

● W. Richard Stevens. TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 3: TCP for Transactions, HTTP, NNTP, and the UNIX Domain Protocols. ISBN 0-201-


● Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Computer Networks. ISBN 0-13-066102-3

● David D. Clark, "The Design Philosophy of the DARPA Internet Protocols", Computer Communications Review 18:4, August 1988,

pp. 106–114

External links [edit]

● Internet History -- Pages on Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, and TCP/IP (reviewed by Cerf and Kahn).

● RFC 675 - Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974 Version

● TCP/IP State Transition Diagram (PDF)

● RFC 1180 A TCP/IP Tutorial - from the Internet Engineering Task Force (January 1991)


● The TCP/IP Guide - A comprehensive look at the protocols and the procedures/processes involved

● A Study of the ARPANET TCP/IP Digest

● TCP/IP Sequence Diagrams

● The Internet in Practice

● TCP/IP - Directory & Informational Resource

● Daryl's TCP/IP Primer - Intro to TCP/IP LAN administration, conversational style

● Introduction to TCP/IP

● TCP/IP commands from command prompt

● cIPS — Robust TCP/IP stack for embedded devices without an Operating System

● TCP Server Client Program using Python

Categories: Internet protocols | TCP/IP | Internet history

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