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Core Network Protocols

The Web depends on a number of lower-level protocols, particularly IP, TCP, and DNS. Several comprehensive works on the networking and protocol technology of the Internet are listed in Resources and Further Reading, which follows Chapter 22.

Physical Layer

The Internet, as the name suggests, is a network of networks. At the physical layer, no single technology is used. Various parts of the Net run over local area networks using Ethernet, token ring, Fiber Distributed Data Interconnect (FDDI), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and other technologies. Wide area networks have been built with point-to-point data circuits, dialup, frame relay, ATM, and other services. All of these network technologies are used to transport and route Internet traffic. Within one of these lower-level networks, routing is handled by whatever means are built into that network. In most cases, even the addressing is distinct from Internet addressing. For example, Ethernet uses 48-bit universal identifiers for addressing and routing. When an IP network is built using an Ethernet, the end systems use a special protocol, the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), to translate IP addresses into Ethernet addresses.


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