According to the Internet Protocol definition, the Internet protocol suite uses this communications protocol for relaying basic transfer units that are associated with a packet-switched network across network boundaries. IP is the first network protocol that was ever used on the Internet, and it features a routing function that enables the practice of connecting a computer network with other networks by using gateways.
The Internet Protocol definition implies the fact that this network was created in the 1970s, and since that moment it has delivered packets from the source to the destination host. This action is entirely based on the IP addresses that exist in the packet headers. The data that exist on an Internet Protocol network is arranged in packets which include a header and the message data itself. The header defines the source, the destination and other details about the meta-data needed to route and deliver the datagram.
So, each packet has two components: a header and a payload. The method that involves transporting and nesting the data in a packet which has a header is named encapsulation. Furthermore, the IP must establish hosts and it is responsible for addressing routing packets, which are also called datagrams, from a source host to a destination one across IP networks.
In order to achieve this task, the IP specifies the packets’ structure, and it offers an addressing system that features two functions: distinguishing hosts and securing a logical location service. The Internet Protocol’s design is based on an end-to-end principle. However, the network infrastructure is not very reliable and it can change its status regarding the availability of nodes and links. In order to reduce complications, the error-correction power is located in the final nodes of each data transmission.
So, one of the aspects that is involved in the Internet Protocol definition refers to the fact that an IP defines the format of the packet that encapsulates a certain data. On many networks, IP is usually used with the Transport Control Protocol, in which case it is referred to as TCP/IP. Moreover, IP was the connectionless packet service in the original Transmission Control Program, which was introduced in 1974 by Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf. The Transmission Control Protocol also played an important role, so the Internet protocol suite is also known as TCP/IP.
The majority of networks use the Internet Protocol version 4. Although this major version is the dominant protocol of the Internet, a new Internet Protocol version 6 has been developed and it features bigger space for addresses.