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Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
Even as SLIP was being documented
as a nonstandard in RFC 1055, work was underway for a newer
protocol to provide full-featured IP transmission over direct links
between pairs of devices. The result is the Point-to-Point Protocol
(PPP), which defines a complete method for robust data link connectivity
between units using serial lines or other physical layers. It includes
numerous capabilities and features, including error detection, compression,
authentication, encryption and much more.
Even though PPP is called a protocol,
and even though it is considered part of TCP/IPdepending on whom
you askit is really more a protocol suite than a
particular protocol. The operation of PPP is based on procedures defined
in many individual protocols, as we will see in this section. Thus,
PPP can be considered a protocol suite within a protocol suite.
Alternately, its components can be viewed as subprotocols
In this section I provide a comprehensive
look at the operation of the Point-to-Point Protocol, in four subsections.
The first describes the fundamentals of PPP, including its history,
standards and an overview of its general operation. The second explains
the core protocols that are responsible for setting up PPP
links and basic operation. The third covers the protocols used to implement
various special features in PPP, such as compression and encryption.
The last subsection provides detailed information on the various frame
formats used by PPP protocols.
Note: The component protocols of PPP are normally just called protocols and not subprotocols. This is confusing, so watch out for it in networking literature. I try to be consistent in this section in referring to PPP as a suite, but remember that it really is often just collectively called a protocol.
Note: As we will see in this section, PPP can be used to carry the frames of many protocols operating at layers three and above. It is, however, best known for its use with IP, and that is the assumption for the descriptions in this section, unless otherwise specified.
Related Information: PPP is related to the High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) protocol, which is in turn part of the Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC) family of protocols. I have avoided reliance on the SDLC protocols in explaining PPP since PPP is important and widely used enough that I think it warrants independent description.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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