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IP stands for internet protocol


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IP stands for internet protocol and refers to a data protocol that is used for communication of data across a network. A protocol is a standard that governs or enables the connection of communication or data transfer between two points on a network. In terms of two cans and a string serving as a child's telephone, for example, the protocol would be the string between the two cans. Protocol can also refer to rules governing the aspects of the communication, such as the semantics and the syntax or order of the terms of communications across the network.

IP, then, is what is known as a network layer protocol and is housed and governed in a data linkage known as Ethernet. Ethernet refers to what are essentially a family of computer properties and technologies used across local area networks or LANs. Ethernet tends to provide unique global internet protocol addresses or IP addresses to users on the networks. IP is basically the tools of communication and the identity of a particular computer or network's "global address." IP is entirely concerned with where the data ends up whereas Ethernet references and is concerned with the actual next device in the next chain of communication. To use the aforementioned example regarding a child's telephone, the Ethernet would be concerned with the two cans more than it would be with the string.

The first version of IP to be used worldwide and widely deployed was IPv4. IPv4, as the name would suggest, was the fourth edition of internet protocol and is used on the internet along with IPv6. IPv6 and Ipv4 are actually the only forms of internet protocol to be utilized on the World Wide Web. IPv4 is what is known as a "best effort delivery" protocol; there are not many service guarantees within IPv4 or any other IP for that matter. In fact, best effort delivery contains a number of notions that do not guarantee a level of quality for service customers or a level of reliability in terms of connectivity to any network. The best comparison to this philosophy would be the post office. While no resources are left unused in the operation of delivering mail, there is no actualized guarantee as to when you mail will arrive.

A lack of data guarantee isn't the only place that IP falters. It can also end up corrupting data, losing connectivity, not granting connectivity to a network for an extremely long time, doubling up connectivity packets, and losing some connectivity packets which would result in not giving you a full connection. IP does not seem like a very reliable protocol, yet it is virtually the only choice there is for connecting to a network. In businesses that use voip systems or rely on voip conference calls, reliability can be a serious issue.

IP is a complex concept, but at the root it simply provides guidelines to technological aspects that transmit data or voice over ip services across a network. This happens because computers within that network have IP addresses that enable the reception of the data. With these IP addresses, data is assured proper receipt. The rest of the process, however, is up in the air thanks to the unreliable nature of the internet protocol or IP.

About the Author

Lee Hopkins the author of over 130 articles on business communication, and is recognised world-wide as one of Australia's leading experts in online business communication, including Social Media or Web2.0 as it's also known.

To connect with him, please call him on +61 8121 4444 any hour of the day or night; if he's asleep you can leave a voice message!

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-11-23 12:37:02 in Computer Articles

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