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What is IP?


The Internet  -
It's everywhere, even in your potplants*

IP stands for Internet Protocol.  In rough terms, it is a system for transmitting information from one place in a network to another, without caring too much how it gets there. 

Originally developed by the American Defence Advanced Research Project - DARPA - it was known as DARPANET and designed as a way to transmit data across a network even if some of the points in the network were unavailable (ie destroyed by enemy action!)

Your information is broken down into little chunks called packets, each packet is given a destination address and sent on it's way.  The pieces may travel different routes to get to the destination, but when they arrive, a higher level protocol the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) reorders them into the data you sent originally, hence TCPIP.

This is what happens when you email a friend, book a flight or listen to music on the internet, millions of tiny packets of data are being transmitted from one place to another.

The great thing about TCPIP is that it is a very low level protocol, it dosent care what application layers sit above it, nor what they do with the data, and most importantly it dosent care if the system it is passing to is made by Apple or Microsoft.  IP is product independent, and as long as the device has an Ethernet jack on it - it will communicate.

*An Australian company recently released a twitter link for potplants, using IP as a transport control protocol, potplants can tweet your phone if they are thirsty



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