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Category Archive : Protocols

The future of IPv4

What does IPv4 mean?

IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is a popular and broadly used version of the IP. Thanks to the IPv4 addresses, it is possible to identify devices on the network. It includes 4 numbers between 0 to 255, divided by dots, for instance, 123.45.67.89, and it uses a 32-bit address space. 

In addition, it is a connectionless protocol. That means it is possible to send the message without any prior adjustment between the two endpoints. So, a device can send the data without examining if the receiver is available and with the requirements for receiving the data. 

It is not a component of the mission of IPv4 to ensure proper delivery.

Moreover, it is not obligated to avoid duplicated delivery, keep the data integrity safe or ensure the order. For all of these tasks, it needs a different type of protocol, such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

To summarize, IPv4 specifies the format, addresses, and routes data.

For these functionalities, it is a fundamental resource for various interconnecting networks, plus transferring data from sources to their targets. Moreover, if the format of the data is too big, it is divided into segments for better transportation.

What is the future of IPv4?

Since the 80s, when IPv4 was introduced, the progress in the digital field has been massive. In addition, the number of people using one or several devices has increased rapidly. Nowadays, there are almost 8 billion people worldwide, and the IPv4 and its 32-bit address provide just a bit more than 4 billion.

So, here appears the problem. With the deficiency of available IP addresses, network administrators are required to reuse IP addresses. Also, they have to control and maintain their IP address pool very carefully.  

The lack of available IPv4 addresses causes their price to go up. Mainly for that reason, the newest IPv6 version is gaining more popularity. 

Benefits of IPv4.

  • Compatibility – Every type of network device, brand-new or old, supports IPv4, and systems support is guaranteed. Now, it is not a concern for systems to operate with this version. Implementing IPv6 involves upgrades, yet it has to go a long way to be supported the same way as IPv4.
  • Easy to write – If it is needed, IPv4 addresses are way more simple to type manually. Compared to IPv6, they are shorter, which means less chances of human mistakes.
  • IPv4’s prefixes are easy. This is handy for networks’ topology logical and physical. They fit easier.

Moving on to IPv6

Eventually, we are going all to shift to IPv6. At the moment, we are gradually transitioning to the newer IPv6 model. It is a slow process, and currently, nearly every person who wants to apply the latest IPv6 additionally adds support for the earlier IPv4. Therefore, it takes more energy to work with the new one. Another difficulty is that not every DNS recursive server supports the latest IPv6 yet.

The IPv6 holds a lot of benefits, such as the amount of usable IPv6 addresses. Actually, there are a lot more than we could ever need. In addition, more reliable security, the opportunity to apply it directly without a NAT device and forwarding, and many more.

What is the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)?

Networks are essentially communication – a non-stop interaction between machines exchanging information. To guarantee the success, efficiency, and security of that communication is a complex task. It can’t really be compiled through the use of a single technology. Instead, a combination of protocols and tools is what makes it possible.

What is the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)?

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a communication protocol used to protect data exchanged between a client and a server. It has a specific way for organizing the data to keep their integrity, from the moment they are sent and until they are delivered. It’s a popular protocol used on many networks and supported by applications and devices.

It’s worth mentioning that the TCP is used by most networks, combined with the Internet Protocol (IP). They are different protocols, but since their combination became the official standard for applications and devices to communicate over networks (TCP/IP) a long time ago, in the late 1970s, some don’t differentiate them anymore.

Just keep in mind these teammates complement each other, but each has its own functionality. The IP routes and addresses data packets (sender-recipient). TCP organizes and protects them.

How does the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) work?

First, TCP is a connection-oriented protocol. That means that to secure the data during their trip through the network (or networks), TCP requires an active connection between the sender and the recipient. And this connection has to keep active from the moment data are sent until they are delivered to complete the process successfully.

Then, when communication starts, the first action executed by TCP is to cut the message into packets. As a security measure to protect the integrity of the message, all packets get numbered by TCP and transferred to the IP layer after that for transporting them. 

It’s important to say that even all packets belonging to the same message, once cut in pieces, will not necessarily all travel together or follow the same route. They can move through different routers and gateways, and still, they all have to arrive at the same destination. 

Once they all hit this point (destination), TCP must reassemble all data packets to shape the original message that must be delivered to its recipient. Here, a process without problems should finish. But there can be issues, and TCP functionality is designed to react in case they arise. 

For instance, data packets can get disordered, duplicated, or lost during the process. TCP can detect and fix those types of problems. TCP will ask the packets that are missing to be sent again to re-organize them, re-order and deliver the message correctly. If the message definitely can’t be delivered, TCP will report the situation to the sender.

If you imagine the number of messages that are sent every minute, then cut in pieces by TCP, you can get an interesting image of how active and massive the transit of data packets is on every network. 

Advantages of the TCP.

  • It’s an open protocol. 
  • It’s a light protocol. Its presence doesn’t stress networks or devices.
  • It’s not dependent on the operating system.
  • It supports different protocols for routing, communication within a network, and different networks.

Disadvantages of the TCP.

  • It’s not a choice for LAN or PAN.
  • It has vulnerabilities. Cybercrime could take advantage. 

Conclusion.

TCP can totally contribute to the safe exchange of data on your network. The right combination with other technologies can enhance it.