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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 1011:  Networking
      9  VIII  Protocols

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DHCP – Can I Borrow a Cup of IP?
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TCP/IP

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) has almost become a household word with The Internet becoming part of daily life.

[spacer]TCP/IP is NOT a Protocol

TCP/IP
is NOT a network transmission protocol. It IS a whole slew of tools that include transmission protocols. Actually it has two major ones: TCP and User Datagram Protocol (UDP).


TCP/IP works with numbers, not names. Since numbers are more difficult to remember, we have tools in TCP/IP to make it easier for humans to work with, but when the rubber meets the road, it's about numbers.

To make the numbers somewhat simpler for humans to work with, they are broken down into four groups of numbers called Octets. If you have ever setup an Internet connection, you may have had to enter these numbers. They look something like 192.168.10.2. This is known as the IP Address. Every computer connected to a TCP/IP network must have a unique IP Address. If two computers have the same address, one or both will be kicked off the network. A computer on a TCP/IP network is referred to as host.

[spacer]Octets = Binary Groups

Because the octets are really representations of binary numbers under the hood, each octet cannot be smaller than zero (0) or larger than 255.


The four octets have to be some combination of 32 zeros and ones. This string of binary numbers actually represents two things.

The first is the 'name' of the network; the second is the 'name' of the PC or other device on the same network. How the division of the 32 zeros and ones happens is the role of another set of four octets, known as the SubNet Mask.

[spacer]The Gateway

You will see a third option, again using octets. When network traffic happens and it isn't for your network, the data has to leave your network. That third octet entry is known as the Gateway. The job of the gateway is to be a place marker for the device that acts as a doorway for data that must enter and leave your network. Once again, it is a binary thing. The data is or isn't for your network. If the data isn't for your network, it throws it to the gateway. It sort of works like "I don't know what to do with this data traffic, Gateway, you handle it and let me know when you got something for me."



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DHCP – Can I Borrow a Cup of IP?
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