Internet Protocol

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Internet Protocol (IP) is the Layer 3 protocol of the Internet. While it supports the public Internet, nothing prevents its use in private networks. It is possible to construct a combination of intra-company and inter-company networks, using both public and private network resources, all using IP.

IP provides a connectionless OSI Network Layer service. As such, IP does not sequence or acknowledge packets, nor does it provide bit error detection or correction for the datagram. IP routes based on a 32 bit IP address. The size of an IP packet can be up to 64 KB long. IP supports a packet fragmentation and reassembly capability, since the size of an actual IP transmission is limited by the underlying physical networks to which the host systems are attached and any intervening subnetworks.

IP depends on a routing protocol to maintain routing tables which it uses to select the next hop on the path to the packet destination. Example routing protocols include RIP, OSPF, BGP, and EIGRP.


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