8 Major Functions of Internet Protocol & its Importance

When we send any information to someone, then in that packet we write the address of the place where we are sending that information. So that the packet can reach the right destination.

Talking about computer networks, communication and data transfer play an important role in today’s world. Internet Protocol (IP), a fundamental component, has become an important part of computer networks today. It helps us to exchange information across various networking devices and systems.

So, in this blog post, we have explained in detail about the importance of Internet Protocol and the functions of Internet Protocol in computer networks. Apart from this, you will also learn how it serves as the backbone for modern connectivity.

What is Internet Protocol (IP)?

The Internet Protocol is the defined set of protocols that enable the modern Internet. It was initially defined in a paper titled “A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication” in May 1974. Which was published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and authorized by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn.

IP stands for “Internet Protocol“. It is a set of rules governing the format of data sent through the Internet or local network. Internet Protocol is the method or protocol which sends data from one computer to another computer over the Internet. Each computer known as a host on the Internet has an IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet

For example, when a source host sends some information, that information is split into several packets, then the message is sent to the destination. These small packets are called IP packets or datagrams.

Transmission Control Protocol–TCP is used to control or send IP packets and datagrams to the correct destination. These two are collectively called TCP/IP. Apart from these two protocols, other protocols are used on the Internet.

Example – FTP – File Transfer Protocol, SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, UDP – User Datagram Protocol, etc.

Also Read: Major Types of Networking Devices

Importance of Internet protocol

When it comes to computer networks, something really important is what helps networking devices communicate with each other and share information. It is called Internet Protocol or IP for short. From browsing the web to sending email and streaming video, the importance of Internet protocols cannot be overstated.

This shows that at the heart of computer networks is the Internet Protocol, which is a fundamental component. It enables the exchange of information across various devices and servers through a network. Because of this, the importance of Internet Protocol in computer networks is very high.

Functions of Internet Protocol

Internet Protocol plays a very important role in computer networks. It performs essential functions in a network, like enabling the exchange of data between networking devices and systems. Some of the major functions of Internet Protocol are mentioned below.

Addressing and Routing

Suppose you have a large group of friend circle. You want to send your message to a specific friend among them. So, you have to share your message with a particular friend instead of sharing it with all your friends.

The Internet Protocol provides a standardized system for addressing and routing data packets on computer networks. However, each device connected to a computer network is assigned a unique IP address. That address allows accurate identification of the device as well as communication.

Addressing system helps in sending the data to the correct destination irrespective of the physical location of the device. By taking advantage of IP, networks can efficiently route data packets through multiple nodes, ensuring reliable and efficient transmission.

Also Read: Different types of Network Topology

Global Connectivity

Internet Protocol provides worldwide Internet connectivity which enables communication with networking devices connected in different networks. Through IP address all the networking devices can connect with each other or connect to the server and exchange information with individuals across the globe. This interconnectedness has revolutionized the way we share data, collaborate and access information, enabled global communication and fostered a global village.

Fragmentation and Reassembly

IP is responsible for packet fragmentation and reassembly when data packets are too large to be transmitted in a single unit across the network. First internet protocol sends those large data packets by dividing them into many pieces at the beginning and helps in connecting all those packet pieces at the destination.

This process ensures that data can be transmitted smoothly, even if the underlying network has packet size limits. By handling fragmentation and reconnection, IP allows efficient transmission of data across various network architectures and media.

Interoperability

Internet Protocol facilitates interoperability among all computer networks, systems, and networking devices. It understands the communication and data transmission going on in all networks because Internet Protocol acts like a translator in the network. IP ensures that different devices and networks can communicate effectively. Interoperability is essential to the decentralized and interconnected nature of the Internet. With this facility, the user can access the Internet from any corner of the world.

Also Read: 7 layers of OSI Reference Model

Security and Privacy

Security and privacy play an important role in computer networks. By adopting these facilities, it ensures that data transmission over the network is done in a secure manner and unauthorized access or tampering of information does not happen. Security and privacy typically provide authentication, encryption, and integrity mechanisms, protecting sensitive information, and maintaining the confidentiality of network communications.

Quality of Service

Internet protocol supports quality of service mechanisms that prioritize certain types of traffic over others protocols. This ensures optimum performance for critical applications such as voice and video communications. QoS helps to effectively manage network resources and maintain a satisfactory level of service for different types of traffic.

Error Detection

It includes error detection to ensure the integrity of data packets during transmission. It uses checksums to detect errors, corruption, or loss of data. This enables the receiver to regenerate damaged and missing packets and resend them.

Time-to-Live

The Internet Protocol includes a time-to-live field in its header, which sets a limit on the number of networks hops a data packet must make before it is discarded. This prevents packets from being transmitted endlessly in the network, ensuring efficient resource utilization and preventing congestion.

Also Read: Importance of Physical Layer

Types of Internet Protocol version

The IP address is mainly two types IPV4 and IPV6. Internet Protocol version 4 (IPV4) defines an IP address as a 32-bit number. However, because of the growth of the internet and the depletion of available IPV4 addresses, a new version of IP (IPV6) using 128 bits for the IP address, was introduced. This was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standardized in 1998.

Internet Protocol Version 4(IPV4)

IPv4 is an IP version that is still widely used in many places. It was first introduced in 1983 in ARPANET. From that day till today it has been used a lot. That’s why the desire for it is very high. This is a 32-bit address scheme used to store 2^32 addresses. IPv4 provides an addressing capability of approximately 4.3 billion addresses.

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6)

IPV6 is the new version of an IP address that provides very advanced and better features than IPV4. It has an address of 128 bits. This has been made to provide this world-efficient IP address and to solve the problem that comes with IPV4. IPV6 is more optimized for mobile networks and Also provides easier administration.

Also Read: Importance Of Bandwidth in Networking

Conclusion

Internet Protocol, or IP, is an important part of computer networks. It provides a unique address to every networking device, allowing data packets to find their best path and communicate by translating different technologies. This allows us to share our information globally and keeps our data secure. Without the Internet Protocol, computer networks could not function optimally. It helps us keep our digital world together and improve it.

In this tutorial, we have given you complete information about the importance of Internet Protocol in computer networks and the functions of Internet Protocol. Hope you have got complete information about it.

If you have any kind of doubt related to this, then you can tell us. We will try our best to solve your doubts. It has always been our endeavor that we can tell you about technical things in a better way and clear your doubts.

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