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TCP/IP Addresses

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) were developed to enable computers to talk to each other over long-distance networks. IP is responsible for moving packets of data between nodes and systems, and TCP is responsible for verifying delivery from clients to servers. TCP/IP forms the basis of the Internet and is built into every common modern operating system (including all flavors of Unix, the Mac OS, and the latest versions of Windows). Every device connected to the Internet has an IP address associated with it. Think of an IP address as an unique identifier for every system connected to the Internet. IP addresses typically take the form of ###.###.###.###. An example is 192.168.1.100. Each one the of the four groups of numbers is a value between 0 and 255. This provides for numerous address that can be used by millions of computer systems.

Note

A computer on the Internet also can have more than one address or more than one domain name. An example of this is a scenario in which an Internet service provider (ISP) hosts Web sites for many home users. Because home users typically have small Web sites compared to corporations, it does not make sense to host each site on a separate computer. In all likelihood, the ISP probably uses a powerful machine configured to host many Web sites on one physical machine. This becomes a case in which multiple domains go back to one physical machine. The physical machine can have many domain/IP address combinations associated with it. But for our purposes, we will assume that given an IP address, there is a single machine with which it is associated.



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