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Internet Protocol suite (IP suite)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Internet Protocol suite (IP suite) is the standard network model and communication protocol stack used on the Internet and on most other computer networks. While other networking models exist, the IP suite is overwhelmingly the global standard for computer-to-computer communication.

The IP suite follows a client/server model, in which multiple client programs share the services of a common server program. Protocols in the suite define end-to-end data handling methods for everything from packetizing, addressing and routing to receiving. Broken down into layers the IPS includes the link layer, the internet layer, the transport layer, application layer and the physical layer. Each layer contains a number of protocols for communications. The suite is sometimes just called TCP/IP, because those are the predominant protocols in the model and were the first ones used. However, the IP suite involves many other protocols.

The following is a partial list of protocols in each layer:

Application layer:

BGP, DHCP, DNS, FTP, HTTP, IMAP, LDAP, MGCP, NNTP, NTP, POP, ONC/RPC, RTP, RTSP, RIP, SIP, SMTP, SNMP, SSH, Telnet, TLS/SSL and XMPP.

Transport layer:

TCP, UDP, DCCP, SCTP and RSVP.

Internet layer:

IP, IPv4, IPv6, ICMP, ICMPv6, ECN, IGMP and IPsec.

Data link layer:

ARP, NDP, OSPF, L2TP, PPP, MAC, Ethernet, DSL, ISDN and FDDI.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) developed the Internet protocol suite from research at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). For this reason, the model is also sometimes referred to as the DoD model.

See a video introduction to the IP suite:

This was last updated in June 2016

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