Essential Protocol

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Essential Network Protocols

Modern computer networking leverages many components to enable computers on one network (or opposite side of the world) to communicate with a computer on a different network (or other side of the world). Of the components that enable network communication, there are several in the TCP/IP suite of protocols that work in the background to provide reliable Internet connection and data transport every day for millions of computers worldwide.

Internet protocol or IP is an essential component of modern internetwork communication. IP is a connectionless protocol that provides neither fault tolerance nor error correction. It is also not responsible for the setup or teardown of network communications. The primary job assigned to IP is logical addressing and routing as it resides at layer 3 (the Network layer) of the OSI model. While every host on the network has a hardware address (also called a MAC address), hosts can only communicate with other hosts in the same broadcast domain using MAC addressing. For internetwork communication, a logical, unique network address is required so that the devices forwarding network traffic (primarily routers), can determine the source and destination and best route to forward data packets.

The ARP or Address Resolution Protocol enables devices on a single network, in a single broadcast domain, to find the hardware or MAC address of a device on the network given the IP address of the device. ARP resides at layer 2 of the OSI model, is connectionless, is non-routable, and uses broadcasts to forward ARP requests to all hosts in a broadcast domain to find the MAC address of a host. Without ARP devices that use logical addressing such as IP addressing would not be able to find the destination host in a TCP/IP network.

RARP or Reverse Address Resolution…...

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