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Internet Protocol Mobility Support (Mobile IP)
Protocol (IP) is the most successful network
layer protocol in computing due to its many strengths, but it also has
some weaknesses, most of which have become more important as networks
have evolved over time. Technologies like classless
addressing and Network
Address Translation combat the exhaustion
of the IPv4 address space, while IPSec provides it with secure communications
it lacks. Another weakness of IP is that it was not designed with mobile
computers in mind.
While mobile devices can certainly
use IP, the way that devices are addressed and datagrams routed causes
a problem when they are moved from one network to another. At the time
IP was developed, computers were large and rarely moved. Today, we have
millions of notebook computers and smaller devices, some of which even
use wireless networking to connect to the wired network. The importance
of providing full IP capabilities for these mobile devices has grown
dramatically. To support IP in a mobile environment, a new protocol
called IP Mobility Support, or more simply, Mobile IP,
In this section I describe the special
protocol developed to overcome the problems with mobile computers attaching
to IP internetworks. I begin with an overview of Mobile IP and a more
detailed description of why it was created. I discuss important concepts
that define Mobile IP and its general mode of operation. I then move
on to some of the specifics of how Mobile IP works. This includes a
description of the special mobile IP addressing scheme, an explanation
of how agents are discovered by mobile devices, the process of registration
with the device's home agent, and how data is encapsulated and routed.
I discuss the impact that Mobile IP has on the operation of the TCP/IP
Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). I end the section by examining some
of the efficiency and security issues that come into play when Mobile
IP is used.
Note: This section describes specifically how IP mobility support is provided for IPv4 networks. In the future I may add more specific details for how mobility is implemented in IPv6.
Background Information: If you are not familiar with the basics of IP addressing and routing, I strongly suggest at least skimming those sections before attempting to read about Mobile IP.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
© Copyright 2001-2005 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
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