Internet: What are Protocols, Packets & Addresses?
The data transmitted over the Internet must be set up to follow certain rules so that all the computers on the network can understand it.
When you connect to your ISP’s POP Location, the two entities go through a process called handshaking, whereby the fastest-available transmission speed is established. Then authentication occurs: your ISP needs to know you arc who you say you are, so you need lo provide a username and a password. These two items will have been established when you opened your account with your ISP.
Are set of rules, that computers must follow to transmit data electronically. The protocol that enables all computers to use data transmitted on the Internet is called Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP.
TCP/IP was developed in 1978 by ARPA. TCP/IP is used for all Internet transactions, from sending email to downloading pictures off a friend’ website. Among other things, TCP/IP determines how the sending device indicates that i has finished sending a message and how the sending device indicates that it has received the message.
Most important, perhaps, TCP/IP breaks the data in a message into separate packets, fixed-length blocks of data for transmission. This allows a message to be split up and its parts sent by separate routes yet still wind up in the same place. IP is used to send the packets across the Internet to their final destination, and TCP is used to reassemble the packets in the correct order.
The packets do not have to follow the same network routes to reach their destination because all the packets have the same IP address, as we explain next.
When you type an Internet address such as www.topgadgetinfo.com into your computer, your computer converts it to an Internet Protocol (IP) address in order to take you to the website that you want to go to. To do this conversion, the computer uses the Internet connection and checks an online DNS (Domain Name System) server run by your ISP that is a database of regular Internet addresses and IP addresses.
An Internet Protocol (IP) address uniquely identifies every computer and device connected to the Internet. An IP address consists of four sets of numbers between 0 and 255 separated by decimals (called a dotted quad)-for example, 126.96.36.199. An IP address is similar to a street address, but street addresses rarely change, whereas IP addresses often do.
Each time you connect to your Internet access provider, it assigns your computer a new IP address, called a
Dynamic IP address, for your online session. When you request data from the Internet, it is transmitted to your computer’s IP address. When you disconnect, your provider frees up the IP address you were using and reassigns it to another user.
|A Dynamic IP Address changes each time you connect to the Internet. A Static IP Address is the same every time a person logs on to the Internet. Established organizational websites such as your ISP’s have their own static IP addresses, which they pay for.|
If your computer is constantly connected to the Internet, through a local network at work or school, most likely you have a static IP address. If you are using a computer that gets connected to the Internet intermittently, you’re most likely picking up a dynamic IP address· from a pool of possible IP addresses at your Internet access provider’s network during each log-in.
|When the Internet was first conceived, the architects didn’t foresee the need for an unlimited number of IP addresses. Consequently, there are not enough IP numbers to go around. To get around that problem, many Internet access’ providers limit the number of static IP addresses they allocate and economize on the remaining number of IP addresses they possess by temporarily assigning an IP address from a pool of IP addresses.|
The World is running out of IP Addresses?
This approach to determining IP addresses, created in the early 1980s, is called IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4). After Internet use exploded in the 1990s it became apparent that even with this approach of using dynamic, reusable IP addresses, the world would soon run out of IP addresses. Thus the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) started some years ago to develop IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6).
An IPv6 address would have this format, and use both numbers and characters:
This approach is designed to facilitate an unlimited number of IP addresses and to make the connection of non-personal-computer devices, such as smartphones and digital home devices, easier. IPv4 had about 4.3 billion addresses; IPv6 will have enough spots for 340 trillion, trillion, trillion unique IP addresses.