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What is the Internet Protocol (IP)?

by Iwan Price-Evans on Web technology • June 20, 2022

The internet protocol is how computers talk to each other over the internet.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

TCP/IP is a set of protocols that allows computers to communicate with each other over the internet using the same language as humans use when talking to each other. This means that we can send messages back and forth between two computers without having to learn a new language.

Learn more about TCP.

What Is The Network Layer?

The network layer is responsible for routing data packets between different networks. In order to do so, it must understand how to route data packets across multiple networks.

The nature of a network means that there are many routes data can take to arrive at its destination, the network layer determines this path. The network layer provides a means of transferring data from its source to its destination which can be over one or more networks.

The network layer responds to requests from the transport layer and issues requests to the data link layer. It uses addresses such as IP (Internet Protocol) to find the data destination. At this layer, routers are critical to ensuring the requests and responses reach their destination via the best physical path.

Learn how the Network Layer fits into the OSI model.

How Does The Internet Protocol Work?

The internet protocol works by dividing up the data into small chunks called “packets”. Each packet contains the destination address of where it needs to go as well as the source address of where it came from. These addresses are then sent through routers that direct the packets to the correct location.

What Is An IP Address?

An IP address is a unique identifier assigned to every computer connected to the internet. This number identifies the device and allows it to connect to the rest of the world.

DNS - Domain Name System

A domain name system (DNS) is a network service that translates human-friendly names into IP addresses. If you type www.google.com into your web browser, your computer will connect to Google's servers at an IP address. However, if you typed google.com instead, your computer would need to find out where to go by looking up the IP address associated with google.com.