The Internet Protocol, abbreviated as IP, is the primary communication protocol in the Internet family for relaying data messages across network borders. In essence, its routing function allows internetworking, which effectively sets up the Internet. With the help of the Internet Protocol, computers on a network can exchange packets of data at a faster speed than it would be able to do by using regular means of transmission. This is made possible thanks to the IP address of each computer that is unique from all other computers on the same network.
A single Internet Protocol (IP) can carry a multitude of protocols, including multimedia messages, meta-data, error messages, ICMP Echo Request/Response, I-HLT datagram, TCP connections, ICMP datagrams, and other protocols. A single IP can also define port ranges for a computer to use for a specific application. For instance, a user might establish a connection over a common network to establish a file server and then proceeds to make sub-protocol-based connections to other computers that are not part of his local network. The information sent through these protocols is encapsulated within the IP header. This header is itself encapsulated within the datagram, which is sent along with the IP address of the source computer. The IP datagram thus receives messages in a reliable and secured form.
There are two standard protocols for Internet processes. These are the TCP and UDP protocols. With the help of TCP/IP, the user of the network can establish connections with other users and establish a session for a fixed period. If a session is closed before the specified time, an error message is generated and the connection will be terminated. On the other hand, with UDP the user of the network initiates a session, specifies a fixed number of packets, and then receives data from other users of the network using UDP datagrams.
Once the Internet Protocol (IP) has been established between the user and the network host, both the Internet Protocol and the address of the host are sent as datagrams through the communication line. At this stage, both the source and the destination of the datagram need to agree on the way the data is to be transferred. The user of the network sends a request to the Internet Protocol (IP) host for a transfer of a particular datagram. If the IP host agrees to the transfer, the IP packet is thus sent. If not, the packet is dropped by the IP host.
The Internet Protocol (IP) is used in conjunction with destination-wise TCP to establish and successfully maintain a communication between the client and the server. In order to send a TCP datagram, a TCP connection has to be established between the client and the Internet Protocol (IP) host. After the connection has been successfully established, the IP packet is sent over an established TCP connection. The Internet Protocol (IP) uses three types of segments: the first segment is called the local address on which the TCP connection is established; the second segment is called the global address, which is used by other systems for communicating with the server and the third segment is called the service address, which is used by the user for communicating with the network.
The local and global addresses are used to uniquely identify computers on the network. These three segments together comprise the Internet Protocol (IP) and provide a means by which information can be transmitted over a distance. Each computer within a network connects to the Internet using one of the TCP connections established between different system devices. When two hosts want to establish a connection to the Internet, they first negotiate the necessary protocols and then initiate the transfer of data. The two hosts can also mutually establish a TCP connection on themselves if both do not have any existing TCP connections.