The Internet Protocol Suite is the set of communication protocols used in networks such as the Internet.
To further understand what the Internet Protocol Suite is, we must first define what a protocol is. A protocol is a mutually agreed-upon format for a process of doing something. It is basically a standard or a set of rules that computers must follow in order to connect and transmit data to one another. This connection among computers in a network is called a communications protocol.
The IPS or Internet Protocol Suite implements the protocol stack on which the Internet functions. A protocol stack is a set of protocol layers that work together to form a network. It is a hierarchy of layers, ergo the term “stack”. Each layer supports the one above it and uses the one below.
Internet Protocol Suite Abstraction Layers
Most commonly known as the TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, the Internet Protocol Suite has four abstraction layers with their own protocols. The TCP and the IP are the most important protocols and were the first networking protocols that were defined in this standard.
The four abstraction layers are:
- Link Layer – This layer contains communication technologies used in local networks.
- Internet Layer – The internet layer is responsible for connecting local networks, therefore, establishing the internet.
- Transport Layer – This layer handles communications from host to host.
- Application Layer – The application layer handles interactions which are application-based on a process-to-process level between the various communicating Internet hosts.
The TCP/IP or Internet Protocol Suite has several protocols in the four abstraction layers. The main ones are the following:
- HyperText Transfer Protocol – used by web servers for web pages to be shown in the browsers.
- File Transfer Protocol – type of internet protocol that allows users to move or relocate files from one computer to another.
- Secure Shell
- Telnet and BitTorrent at the application layer
- TCP and UDP or User Diagram Protocol at the transport layer
- IP at the network layer
- FDDI or Fiber Distributed Data Interface and PPP or Point-to-Point Protocol at the data link layer
- 10Base-T, 100Base-T and DSL or Digital Subscriber Line at the physical layer
Internet Engineering Task Force
The Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF manages the TCP/IP or the Internet Protocol Suite. It has no formal membership and no membership requirements. It consists of participants and managers who are all volunteers. However, their work is usually funded by sponsors or their main employers.
It is actually open to all who want to participate in discussions and mailing lists or meetings. It runs on a rough consensus process in which the final arbiter of decision-making is the mailing list consensus. It is formally a part of the Internet Society and is overseen by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is also managed by the IAB.