Articles Tagged ‘IP Addressing’

IP Protocol

Perhaps one of the most important and well known protocols is the Internet Protocol or, if you like, IP. IP gives us the ability to uniquely identify each computer in a network or on the Internet.

This section provides one of the most comprehensive analysis available online for the IP protocol. To make it easier for the reader, we have broken the analysis into smaller sections with many diagrams and illustrations.

When a computer is connected to a network or the Internet, it is assigned a unique IP address. If you're connecting to the Internet, chances are you're given an IP automatically by your ISP, if you're connecting to your LAN then you're either given the IP automatically or you manually configure the workstation with an assigned IP.

We cannot emphasise the importance of fully understanding how the IP Protocol works as it is the foundation to understanding how network communications work. DNS, FTP, SNMP, SMTP, HTTP and a lot of other protocols and services rely heavily on the IP protocol in order to function correctly, so you can immediately see that IP is more than just an IP Address on your workstation.

Since the Internet Protocol is a big subject we've split the covered material between a number of articles in order to make it easy to read and learn about.

Here is a summary of what's covered:

  • Section 1: Binary and the Internet Protocol. Here we cover a few basic Binary concepts and get to see how Binary and IP fit together.
  • Section 2: Internet Protocol Header. Find out how the Internet Protocol fits in the OSI Model. Also includes a detailed 3d diagram of the IP Header which shows the fields that exist in the IP Header
  • Section 3: Internet Protocol Classes. We get to see the 5 different IP Classes and analyse them in Binary. Also you get to learn about the Network ID and Host ID in an IP Address.

Network Fundamentals

A network is simply a group of two or more Personal Computers linked together. Many types of networks exist, but the most common types of networks are Local-Area Networks (LANs), and Wide-Area Networks (WANs).

In a LAN, computers are connected together within a "local" area (for example, an office or home). In a WAN, computers are further apart and are connected via telephone/communication lines, radio waves or other means of connection.

How are Networks Categorized?

Networks are usually classified using three properties: Topology, Protocols and Architecture. 

Topology specifies the geometric arrangement of the network. Common topologies are a bus, ring and star.You can check out a figure showing the three common types of network topologies here.

Protocol specifies a common set of rules and signals the computers on the network use to communicate. Most networks use Ethernet, but some networks may use IBM's Token Ring protocol. We recommend Ethernet for both home and office networking. For more information, please select the Ethernet link on the left.

Architecture refers to one of the two major types of network architecture: Peer-to-peer or client/server. In a Peer-to-Peer networking configuration, there is no server, and computers simply connect with each other in a workgroup to share files, printers and Internet access.

This is most commonly found in home configurations and is only practical for workgroups of a dozen or less computers. In a client/server network there is usually an NT Domain Controller, to which all of the computers log on. This server can provide various services, including centrally routed Internet Access, mail (including e-mail), file sharing and printer access, as well as ensuring security across the network. This is most commonly found in corporate configurations, where network security is essential.

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