TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol)

Without question, the TCP/IP protocol suite is the most widely implemented protocol on networks today.

This tutorial deals with the individual protocols within the protocol suite. The tutorial looks at the function of the individual protocols and their purposes. It starts by discussing 76one of the more complex facets of TCP/IP addressing.

IP Addressing

IP addressing is one of the most challenging aspects of TCP/IP and one that can leave even the most seasoned network administrators scratching their heads. The following sections look at how IP addressing works for both IPv4 and the newest version of the IP, IPV6.

To communicate on a network using the TCP/IP protocol, each system has to be assigned a unique address. The address defines both the number of the network to which the device is attached and the number of the node on that network. In other words, the IP address provides two pieces of information. It's a bit like a street name and a house number of a person's home address.

Each device on a logical network segment must have the same network address as all the other devices on the segment. All the devices on that network segment must then have different node addresses.

In IP addressing, another set of numbers, called a subnet mask, is used to define which portion of the IP address refers to the network address and which refers to the node address.

IP addressing is different in IPv4 and IPv6. We'll begin our discussion by looking at IPv4, as IPv6 networks are still few and far between.