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TCP/IP

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) has become the common language for the networking world. It is the protocol suite (or stack) that serves as the foundation for the mega-network known as the Internet. Most network operating systems, such as Windows 2000 Server, Novell NetWare 5.x, and the many different flavors of Unix and Linux, now embrace TCP/IP as their default networking protocol.

TCP/IP was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was originally developed as a wide area networking protocol suite that could be used to maintain communication links between sites even if certain sites became inoperable during a worldwide nuclear war; however, another underlying reason for the creation of the TCP/IP protocol stack was that the Department of Defense needed a protocol stack that could communicate across dissimilar networks. These different types of networks existed because the government uses a bidding system and suddenly found itself with different computer systems at various branches of the Defense Department: the army, navy, and so on. Therefore, TCP/IP is jokingly called the “protocol of low bid.”


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