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The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for

relaying datagram’s across network boundaries.

Its routing function enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet.

IP, as the primary protocol in the Internet layer of the Internet protocol suite, has the task of
delivering packets from the source host to the destination host solely based on the IP addresses in
the packet headers.

For this purpose, IP defines packet structures that encapsulate the data to be delivered. It also
defines addressing methods that are used to label the datagram with source and destination
information.

Historically, IP was the connectionless datagram service in the original Transmission Control
Program introduced by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in 1974; the other being the connection-
oriented Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

The Internet protocol suite is therefore often referred to as TCP/IP.

The first major version of IP, Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), is the dominant protocol of the
Internet. Its successor is Internet Protocol Version 6(IPv6).

Let us now get into the basic function of Internet Protocol:

Internet Protocol, or IP, is the method that governs how computers share data across the Internet.
When one computer sends data, such as an email or a web form, its message gets parsed into small
packets that contain the sending computer's Internet address, the receiving computer's address, and
part of the message. Internet Protocol serves several basic functions

addressing

 IP packet headers contain addresses that identify the sending computer and the receiving
computer. Routers use this information to guide each packet across communication
networks and connect the sending and receiving computers.

Reassembly

 Internet Protocol keeps track of the way messages between computers are broken into
packets. Since most messages are too big to fit in one packet, and since packets aren't sent
in any organized order, they must be reassembled as they arrive at the recipient. IP dictates
how packets are reassembled into usable messages.

Timeouts

 Each IP packet contains a self-destructive counter that limits its lifetime. If a packet's defined
lifetime expires, the packet is destroyed so that the Internet doesn't get overloaded with
broken packets wandering aimlessly.
Options

 IP includes optional features such as allowing the sending computer to decide the path its
packets take to get to the receiving computer, to trace the path they take or to include
added security in the packets.

This is something about the basic function of Internet Protocol; let us now see that what is the real
sense of understanding in internet protocol.

IP is a protocol. Simply said, a protocol is a set of rules governing how things work in a certain
technology, so that there is some kind of standardization. When put into a network communication
context, a protocol is the set of rules governing how packets are transmitted over a network. When
you have a protocol, you are sure that all machines one a network (or in the world, when it comes to
the Internet), however different they might be, speak the 'same language' and can integrate into the
whole framework. IP is probably the most common protocol over the Internet. It is the set of rules
governing how packets are transmitted over the Internet.

The IP protocol standardizes the way machines over the Internet or any IP network forward or route
their packets based on their IP addresses.let us now get into the fact of routing or IP Routing .

IP Routing

Along with addressing, routing is one of the main functions of the IP protocol. Routing consists of
forwarding IP packets from source to destination machines over a network, based on their IP
addresses.

When Voice Meets IP

VoIP takes advantage of this ubiquitous carrier technology to disseminate voice data packets to and
from machines.

IP is actually where VoIP draws its power from: the power to make things cheaper and so flexible; by
making optimal use of an already-existing data carrier.

TCP/IP

When TCP couples with IP, you get the Internet highway traffic controller. TCP and IP work together
to transmit data over the Internet, but at different levels.

Since IP does not guarantee reliable packet delivery over a network, TCP takes the charge of making
the connection reliable.

TCP is the protocol that ensures reliability in a transmission, that which ensures that there is no loss
of packets, that the packets are in the right order, that the delay is to an acceptable level, and that
there is no duplication of packets. All this is to ensure that the data received is consistent, in order,
complete and smooth (so that you don't hear a broken speech).
During data transmission, TCP works just before IP. TCP bundles data into TCP packets before
sending these to IP, which in turn encapsulates these into IP packets.

IP Packets

An IP Packet is a packet of data which carries a data load and an IP header. Any piece of data (in the
case of a TCP/IP network - TCP packets) is broken into bits and placed into these packets and
transmitted over the network. Once the packets reach destination, they are reassembled into the
original data. Read more on the structure of an IP packet here.

IP Addresses

This is maybe the most interesting and mysterious part of IP for most of computer users. An IP
address is a unique address identifying a machine (which can be a computer, a server, an electronic
device, a router, a phone etc.) on a network, thus serving for routing and forwarding IP packets from
source to destination. Read more on these digits and dots that make up an IP address.

This is all about internet protocol. Where we have seen that internet though a very easy thing to do,
but the real sense of understanding it is quite tedious, it’s all because of this IP (Internet Protocol)
that the process is easily and smoothly taken place.