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Originally, an outgrowth of the Defense Data Network, TCP/IP is (today) one of the fastest growing wide area networking protocols. This is primarily due to the huge popularity of the Internet which makes use of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and either Internet Protocol (IP) or Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) to provide a communications mechanism for a variety of applications. Information to be transmitted across a network is preceded by a TCP Header, which is then usually preceded by an IP Header. The resulting packet of information can then be sent over any number of link control mechanisms and networking structures including X.25 or Frame Relay. Alternatively, the TCP Header and its information can be wrapped in a PPP frame for transmission across a serial link (either dedicated or dial-up). A dial-up PPP connection is how many users who don't have dedicated access to their Internet Service Provider (ISP) connect to the Internet. When it comes to simplicity and efficiency, TCP/IP leaves much to be desired, but there's so much support available and everybody uses it, so maybe you should too. Click here to see a representation of the TCP/IP protocol structure.

TCP/IP Protocol Structure

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