Internet protocol suite

framework for communication protocols used in IP networking

When computers connect and transmit data between each other on the Internet, they follow a set of rules to do so. These rules are universal; all computers throughout the Internet must follow them. Otherwise, the Internet would not function as computers would not be able to transmit data in a meaningful and useful way. These rules are called protocols. There are many different protocols, each for different purposes, and they all together are called the Internet protocol suite. The two most important protocols are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which ensure data is delivered at the right place, and without errors, and is what computers use when they access servers (computers that have the data that is accessed on the Internet) on the World Wide Web, as well as for email, and the like. Other protocols include the Network Time Protocol, which ensures clock synchronisation in computers, and there are many others.

The TCP/IP model and other related protocols are maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force, whose parent organisation is the Internet Society, and which also cooperates closely with other standards bodies such as the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and ISO/IEC.

Other websites

  • Internet History – Pages on Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, and TCP/IP (reviewed by Cerf and Kahn).
  • RFC 675 – Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974 Version
  • RFC 1180 A TCP/IP Tutorial – from the Internet Engineering Task Force (January 1991)
  • The TCP/IP Guide – A comprehensive look at the protocols and the procedures/processes involved
  • A Study of the ARPANET TCP/IP Digest
  • TCP/IP Sequence Diagrams
  • Daryl's TCP/IP Primer – Intro to TCP/IP LAN administration, conversational style
  • A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication, Cerf & Kahn, IEEE Trans on Comms, Vol Com-22, No 5 May 1974