by Jason Zandri
Jason Zandri’s latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series introduces the TCP/IP Protocol by providing a detailed overview of the default protocol in use for the Internet.
this week’s installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in
15 minutes a week, the 12th in this series. This article
will cover the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol Overview
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a network
communication protocol that can be used as a communications
protocol on private networks and is the default protocol
in use on the internet. When you set up any system to have
direct access to the Internet — whether it is via dial-up or
one of the high speed technologies in use today — your system
will need to utilize the TCP/IP protocol (whether it is a
Windows-based system or not).
Also, if the given system needs to communicate to other
TCP/IP systems on the local LAN or WAN, it will need to
utilize the TCP/IP protocol as well.
[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] –
Indirectly connected computers, such as those on a LAN
that connect to the internet via certain default gateways, certain
types of routers, Proxy Servers, ISA Servers or other
indirect means, do not necessarily need to use the TCP/IP
protocol. They need only utilize the network protocol in use for
their LAN, where that LAN protocol would communicate with
the directly connecting mechanism, whether it be a default gateway, router,
Proxy Server or other direct device. That directly connected device, however, would need to use the Internet’s default
protocol of TCP/IP.
TCP/IP is technically made up of two protocols. The upper layer,
Transmission Control Protocol, on the sending system is
responsible for breaking down the data into smaller packets
to be transmitted over the network (local and internet),
while the TCP layer on the receiving node reassembles the
packets it receives back into the original data structure.
The lower layer, Internet Protocol, addresses each
individual packet so that it gets delivered to the correct
node. Each routing device on the network, be it a hardware
router or a server system that is performing routing
functions, will check the destination address to see where
to forward the message.
[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] –
This is just a basic
overview of TCP/IP and I didn’t want to get too involved
with it here within this article. There is bountiful
information on TCP/IP all over the internet and before
pouring through the RFCs I would first suggest you try these two Web resources —
Frequently Asked Questions or
TCP/IP Protocol Suite – Questions & Answers.