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15. Network Protocols > The Protocols of the Web

The Protocols of the Web

Following are descriptions of the most important network protocols for the Web with performance information on each. Lower layers are presented first.

ARP

The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is what translates IP addresses to Ethernet’s hardware addresses, also known as Media Access Control (MAC) addresses. A host needing to get an IP packet to a final destination on the same LAN as itself sends out an ARP broadcast asking if anyone knows the MAC address assigned to the desired IP. The machine with the target IP should answer the ARP request. ARP is cached for a timeout period, and is generally quite efficient. But it does take a moment, so lightly used web servers will have a slight delay the first time they are used after a period of non-use.


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