Published on Jun 05, 2023


TCP/IP is a set of protocols developed to allow cooperating computers to share resources across a network. It was developed by a community of researchers centered around the ARPAnet. Certainly theARPAnet is the best-known TCP/IP network. However as of June, 87, at least 130 different vendors had products that support TCP/IP, and thousands of networks of all kinds use it.

Description of Introduction to the Internet Protocols

First some basic definitions. The most accurate name for the set of protocols we are describing is the "Internet protocol suite". TCP and IP are two of the protocols in this suite. Because TCP and IP are the best known of the protocols, it has become common to use the term TCP/IP or IP/TCP to refer to the whole family. It is probably not worth fighting this habit. However this can lead to some oddities. For example, I find myself talking about NFS as being based on TCP/IP, even though it doesn't use TCP at all. The Internet is a collection of networks, including the Arpanet, NSFnet, regional networks such as NYsernet, local networks at a number of University and research institutions, and a number of military networks.

The term "Internet" applies to this entire set of networks. The subset of them that is managed by the Department of Defense is referred to as the "DDN" (Defense Data Network). This includes some research-oriented networks, such as the Arpanet, as well as more strictly military ones. (Because much of the funding for Internet and DDN can sometimes seem equivalent.) All of these networks are connected to each other. Users can send messages from any of them to any other, except where there are security or other policy restrictions on access. Officially speaking, the Internet protocol documents are simply standards adopted by the Internet community for its own use. More recently, the Department of Defense issued a MILSPEC definition of TCP/IP. This was intended to be a more formal definition, appropriate for use in purchasing specifications. However most of the TCP/IP community continues to use the Internet standards.