Guide to Learning Internet Protocols, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
38 items | 388m read

Ultimate Guide To Learning Internet Protocols

6m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Learning Internet Protocols

The internet protocol (IP) is a set number of rules that have been placed in order to address and route data and make sure that the data reaches the right destination via the right networks. In other words: information is transferred from one computer to another, through the internet. This information (or data) is broken up into components or ‘packets’. The packets are then given specific IP information (containing the internet address of the sender and receiver) which then makes sure that these packets reach the right place.

The Internet Protocol makes sure that all machines connected to a network have a standardized process when routing packets on their IP addresses (a unique number, different for every machine, used to identifying).

The main role of IP is to send every packet of data to the right place. Whether it is received in the same order as it was sent is not dealt by the internet protocol. To make sure the packets of information are received in the same order is through the TCP – Transmission Control Protocol.

History and Background of IP

Developed in the early 1970s by Robert E. Kahn and Vint Cerf, the internet protocol suite is where the IP and TCP work together and make the basis of the language of the internet. This became the established networking protocol – the ARPANET. The module consisted of concepts from the French project called CYCLADES, led by Louis Pouzin. After the initial module, numerous researchers came forward with varying modules of networks, all with the basis being IP and TCP.

How does the TCP/IP work? There are four abstraction layers that cover the whole process of the internet protocol:

1) The Link Layer – the physical tools needed to connect network servers.

2) The Internet Layer – connects various computers (hosts) to others across a network.

3) The Transport Layer – controls all communication between hosts.

4) The Application Layer – establish communication between various applications on a network.

How are Internet Protocols implemented?

Several operating systems today already comprise of in-built software that administers a number of internet protocols. These systems include a software library that already contains all the internet protocols necessary for that specific application to function adequately.

Types of Protocols

The internet or the World Wide Web uses several internet protocols. All internet protocols have different uses. These include electronic mail (more commonly known as e-mail), HTTP and HTTPS, DNS, FTP, Telnet, Gopher, and NNTP.

Electronic Mail

The electronic mail (e-mail) consists of three types of protocols:

1) IMAP – Internet message across protocol. A standard protocol which accumulates all emails on a server. Moreover, it allows the user to view messages and handle them.

2) SMTP – Simple mail transfer protocol. A communication protocol for the transmission of all electronic mails. The SMTP uses a simple process of ‘store and forward’ it transfers emails from one host to another through networks.

3) POP3 – Post office protocol 3. After the IMAP, the POP3 is the most commonly used internet protocol. This is also used for retrieving emails from a server.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) 

The hypertext transfer protocol is used by every web server which ensures that their web page appears in a web browser. The HTTP (http://) is used to transfer information and files to and fro on the internet. The protocol works by utilizing a ‘user agent’ to link a server. An extended version of the HTTP is the HTTPS – the Hypertext transfer protocol secure. This protocol is seen before a URL (https://) and this protocol encrypts all the information that comes in and goes out of the website.

DNS (Domain Network/Name System)

The domain network system is one of the fundamental tools of the internet and works similar to that of a phone book. The DNS is a protocol that describes how computers trade information on the internet and private networks. It helps users and devices locate websites using easily readable hostnames instead of IP addresses. This is because hostnames such as are easier to remember compared to IP addresses which are unique for every host. The DNS process involves finding the correct IP address for every hostname.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

The File Transfer Protocol is one of many standard protocols. Its purpose is to transfer files of data between a client and a server via the internet protocol suite. It does so by using separate data and control connections between the two. In simpler words, when a client requests a file, the FTP locates a local or remote server that provides the requested file. The FTP is most commonly utilized for uploading web pages (behind the scenes) to a server so it is seen by users on the internet.

Telnet Protocol

The Telnet protocol is a client-server protocol which is used primarily for linking clients to remote hosts through a network. In simpler words, Telnet allows you to log into a remote host (computer) as if you were actually present and sitting in front of it. Moreover, you can open and view files of that host and carry out other functions as if you were a user of that specific host. The protocol is used by every major operating system and many program developers.

Gopher Protocol

The Gopher protocol is a type of menu from which you can browse and locate information, all while not knowing the actual location of that information. This protocol resides in the application layer of the TCP/IP network system. Its main purpose is to distribute, retrieve, and locate data over the internet. However, the Gopher protocol has now been replaced by the World Wide Web.

NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol)

The network news transfer protocol works similarly as the SMTP with the difference being that the NNTP is specifically used for newsgroup articles. The NNTP works by linking Usenet servers and moving newsgroup files over the World Wide Web. The NNTP is both a server-to-server and server-to-client communication protocol.

About This Internet Protocols Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about internet protocols from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

13 items | 114m read
12m read | Basics

How Does The Internet Work?

The Internet works through a packet routing network in accordance with the Internet Protocol (IP), the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) and other protocols. A protocol is a set of rules specifying how computers should communicate with each other over a network.
12m watch | Basics

What the Internet is Really Made of

When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, journalist Andrew Blum started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it — the underwater cables, secret switches and other physical bits that make up the net. Watch this 12-minute Ted Talk video and get a basic understanding of how the internet really works.
5m read | Basics

What is DNS and how does it work?

At its most basic, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers. The numbers, in this case are IP addresses, which computers use to communicate with each other. Most descriptions of DNS use the analogy of a phone book, which is fine for people over the age of 30 who know what a phone book is.
6m read | Basics

Internet History Timeline

Credit for the initial concept that developed into the World Wide Web is typically given to Leonard Kleinrock. In 1961, he wrote about ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, in a paper entitled “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets.”
18m read | Basics

The Evolution of Ethernet

Ethernet is by far the most widely used local area networking (LAN) technology in the world today. Market surveys indicate that hundreds of millions of Ethernet network interface cards (NICs), repeater ports, and switching hub ports have been sold to date, and the market continues to grow. In total, Ethernet outsells all other LAN technologies by a very large margin.
19m watch | Basics

The OSI Model Demystified

This class explains the OSI Model for technicians:

Layer 7 — Application Layer — The layer users interact with
Layer 6 — Presentation Layer — Generally the layer the Operating System is on
Layer 5 — Session Layer — The layer that controls the communication session between two computers
Layer 4 — Transport Layer — The layer that controls Windowing and other tasks related to communication
Layer 3 — Network Layer — The layer that Routers and IP addresses operate at
Layer 2 — Data Link Layer — The layer that Switches, MAC Addresses and ARP reside at
Layer 1 — Physical Layer — The layer that cabling resides on
6m read | Basics

OSI Model Layers Explained

The OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) Model is a conceptual model that characterizes and standardizes the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system without regard to its underlying internal structure and technology. Its goal is the interoperability of diverse communication systems with standard protocols.
4m read | Basics

How Does Ethernet Work?

An Ethernet cable is a common type of network cable used with wired networks. Ethernet cables connect devices such as PCs, routers, and switches within a local area network. These physical cables are limited by length and durability. If a network cable is too long or of poor quality, it won’t carry a good network signal. These limits are one reason there are different types of Ethernet cables that are optimized to perform certain tasks in specific situations.
4m watch | Basics

What is an Ethernet Switch and How to Setup?

Watch this 4-minute video to understand what an ethernet switch is and how you can set it up.
6m read | Basics

What is a MAC Address?

A MAC address is a unique identification number or code used to identify individual devices on the network. Therefore, it’s also sometimes referred to as a hardware or physical address. These numbers are embedded into the hardware of the network device during the manufacturing process. While they usually remain constant, you can sometimes find and modify the MAC address settings through software.
5m watch | Basics

How Does Ethernet Work?

How do computers communicate on a local network? How does Ethernet work? Watch this 4-minute animated video.
7m read | Basics

What is TCP/IP and How Does it Work?

TCP/IP is actually a pretty complex protocol, but it’s instrumental in how we use the internet today. All of the layers really work together to make it happen. Of course, things can always get even more complex, but this should serve as a good guide on the basics of TCP/IP.
10m watch | Basics

TCP/IP Video Tutorial

In this TCP/IP Tutorial, we go through the concepts and terminologies of how TCP/IP works and show you how you can create a TCP Server and a TCP Client using NodeJS.

Watch this video to learn:

— A definition of the OSI model, TCP, Virtual Ports, IP, and TCP-Sockets

— How the TCP and IP Protocols work together

— A demo on how to implement a TCP Server and a TCP Client using NodeJS
16 items | 211m read
7m watch | Advanced

Basics of Internet Network Structure

Any computer network faces a tradeoff. Adding more links creates more capacity and makes the network more robust, since packets can be routed around link failures. However, links are infrastructure and therefore expensive. The internet strikes a balance between the extremes of a fully-connected (and absurdly expensive) network and a minimally-connected (but fragile) network. Watch this 7-minute video.
16m watch | Advanced

Network of Networks

Who runs the Internet, and how does it operate? In this 16-minute video, you’ll learn about the different kinds of networks that we use every day and how they work with each other.
5m read | Advanced

Difference Between Client-Server and Peer-to-Peer network

The main difference between the Client-Server and Peer-to-Peer network model is that in Client-Server model, the data management is centralised whereas, in Peer-to-Peer each user has its own data and applications. Further, we will discuss some more differences between Client-Server and Peer-to-Peer network model with the help of comparison chart shown below, just have a look.
15m watch | Advanced

Key Protocols in the Internet Stack

What is a protocol stack and how does it operate? This is an overview of key protocols in the Internet stack, how information uses them to cross networks and how the stack operates. Examples of Ethernet, optical and DSL networks are used.
17m watch | Advanced

How IP Protocol Works

Arguably the most important protocol on the planet today, the Internet Protocol (IP) is the underpinning of all the information flowing around the world. Let’s look at the details of the IP protocol (version 4) and see how it works.
17m watch | Advanced

Enabling the World Wide Web: TCP and HTTP protocols

The World Wide Web rides atop the Internet. It relies heavily on two protocols, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Hypertext Transmission Protocol (HTTP) to connect content (web sites) to users (web browsers). These two protocols are describe with illustrations and examples.
8m read | Advanced

TCP vs. UDP: Difference and Comparison

There are two types of Internet Protocol (IP) traffic. They are TCP or Transmission Control Protocol and UDP or User Datagram Protocol. TCP is connection-oriented – once a connection is established, data can be sent bidirectional. UDP is a simpler, connectionless Internet protocol. Multiple messages are sent as packets in chunks using UDP.
18m watch | Advanced

Internet Names and Addressing

We use Internet names like and to connect to our favorite sites, but networks can’t route using names. They use IP addresses made up of four eight bit fields. This session describes how IP addresses are used in Internet routing.
15m watch | Advanced

LANs, WANs, Addressing and NATs

Local Area Networks (LANs) often use private addresses that are automatically assigned. LANs are connected to Wide Area Networks (WANs) via gateways where private and public networks collide. How are messages across this boundary translated? That, and address assignment are described in this session.
6m read | Advanced

How Network Address Translation Works

The abbreviation NAT stands for Network Address Translation, a process that takes place between two networks and generally in the router. There are two different types of network address translation: Source-NAT (SNAT) and Destination-NAT (DNAT).
4m read | Advanced

DHCP Defined and How it Works

DHCP stands for dynamic host configuration protocol and is a network protocol used on IP networks where a DHCP server automatically assigns an IP address and other information to each host on the network so they can communicate efficiently with other endpoints.
16m watch | Advanced

How The Domain Name System Works

While not strictly part of the network we call the Internet, without the Domain Name System (DNS) we’d all have to type four-byte fields to get where we want to go instead of using familiar names like This session describes how DNS works using illustrated examples.
17m watch | Advanced

What is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)?

Asia and Europe are out of IPv4 addresses. They have been using IPv6 addresses for about two years, driven by the lack of IPv4 addresses and public regulatory bodies. The Americas will run out of IPv4 addresses next year. This session explores how the Internet will operate with two protocols IPv4 and IPv6 for the next twenty years.
17m watch | Advanced

Why Routers are the Engines of the Internet

This video is transmitted across the Internet by dozens of routers, which use the IP protocol to determine the next hop along the path. Each router does not know the full path, what packets proceeded this one, nor which ones will follow. In this session we look inside a router to understand how that routing occurs, and what roles routers play.
16m watch | Advanced

Interconnection and Routing Protocols

Individual networks that make up the Internet can be thought of as islands that are interconnected by routers acting as bridges, or border gateways. The networks are called Autonomous Systems (ASes). This session describes how messages and routing information crosses ASes and how end to end routing works.
17m watch | Advanced

Reliability of the Internet

Connectivity, reachability, availability and performance are Internet essentials. We want our content delivered without delay and without errors. Since a typical network session takes places over dozens of network routers and switches, how do engineers make it so reliable?
8 items | 57m read
7m read | Expert

An Introduction to Industrial Ethernet

When you talk about office and home networking, usually you are talking about Ethernet-based networks—computers, printers and other devices that contain Ethernet interfaces connected together via Ethernet switches and routers. In the industrial area, the networking picture is more complex. But as time goes on Ethernet is becoming a bigger part of that picture. This article is an introduction to the basics of Ethernet, with a bit of added detail on how it fits into the industrial networking picture.
4m read | Expert

What Is the Difference Between Ethernet and Industrial Ethernet?

Industrial Ethernet systems must be more robust than office Ethernet. Ethernet and, specifically, industrial Ethernet have recently become popular industry terms in the manufacturing world. While similar, they both offer different characteristics and benefits. This article will explore what Ethernet and industrial Ethernet are and how they differ.
20m watch | Expert

Modern Carrier Ethernet Tutorial

This 20-minute video tutorial provides a lighthearted introduction to several facets of modern Carrier Ethernet, including G.8032 Ethernet Protected Rings, IEEE 802.1ag, OA&M, Ethernet circuit testing, automated service turn-up, and MEF Ethernet services.
10m read | Expert

TCP/IP Network Programming Design Patterns in C++

Network programming with the BSD Sockets API involves making a series of boilerplate calls to several operating system level functions every time you want to create connections and transfer data over TCP/IP networks. This process can be both cumbersome and error prone.

Fortunately there is an easier way to develop network applications. By thinking in terms of design patterns, we can devise abstractions for creating connections and transferring data between network peers that encapsulate socket calls in easy to use C++ classes.
12m read | Expert

Building Networked Applications with the TCP Support Library

Typically, network communication using TCP involves a client-server architecture. A client or server can be any device on the network identified by a logical IP address. Before creating a TCP network connection, the server application must register on the network. Registration establishes the port through which client applications can access the server. After registration, the TCP server application listens on the network for incoming client requests.
4m read | Expert

OpenVPN over TCP vs. UDP: Which should I choose?

OpenVPN can run over either the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol) transports. Choosing which one to use is a highly technical issue, and one that most VPN providers (quite understandably) keep hidden ‘behind the scenes’.
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Internet Protocols Books

The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference. his completely up-to-date, encyclopedic reference on the TCP/IP protocol suite will appeal to newcomers and the seasoned professional alike. Kozierok details the core protocols that make TCP/IP internetworks function and the most important classic TCP/IP applications, integrating IPv6 coverage throughout. Over 350 illustrations and hundreds of tables help to explain the finer points of this complex topic.

Networking Basics: The Complete Guide on Internet Protocols and OSI Model. This guidebook is going to take some time looking at the basics of networking, and all of the different parts that you need to know. Whether you want to go into computer networking as a kind of career, or you are just interested in learning more about it to better understand your own network, and then this is the guidebook for you.

Networking for Beginners: An Easy Guide to Learning Computer Network Basics. This book is an easy-to-read book for anyone hungry for computer networking knowledge. The language used is simple, and even the very technical terms that pop from time to time have been explained in a way that is easy to understand.

The Illustrated Network: How TCP/IP Works in a Modern Network. This book presents an illustrated explanation on how TCP/IP works, using consistent examples from a working network configuration that includes servers, routers and workstations. Diagnostic traces allow the reader to follow the discussion with unprecedented clarity and precision. True to its title, there are 330+ diagrams and screenshots, as well as topology diagrams and a unique repeating chapter opening diagram.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Internet Protocols Courses

The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking. This course by Google is designed to provide a full overview of computer networking. It covers everything from the fundamentals of modern networking technologies and protocols to an overview of the cloud to practical applications and network troubleshooting.

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6): The Complete Course. With this training, you will learn IP v6 (Internet Protocol Version-6) in a simple and easy way. The trainer for this course has 10+ years of experience in networking technologies.

CCNA Cyber Ops – TCP/IP Protocol Suite. Cisco has developed a new certification i.e. CCNA Cyber Ops in order to reduce the global cybersecurity skills gap. This certification aligns you well with what a Security Analyst does in a Security Operations Center (SOC).

IoT Networks and Protocols. The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding at a rapid rate, and it is becoming increasingly important for professionals to understand what it is, how it works, and how to harness its power to improve your business. This course will focus on how the IoT works. You will learn about IoT networks and explore how ‘things’ connect to it, including whether the connection and processing is local (fog) or remote (cloud).

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