TCP/IP: Pings, POPs and KISSes

If you’re an active packeteer, sooner or later someone will bring up the subject of TCP/IP–Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. Of all the packet networking alternatives used on the air today, TCP/IP is the most popular.

Despite its name, TCP/IP is more than two protocols; it’s actually a set of several protocols. Together they provide a high level of flexible, “intelligent” packet networking that isn’t possible with AX.25. At the time of this writing, TCP/IP networks are local and regional in nature. For long-distance mail handling, TCP/IP still relies on traditional AX.25 NET/ROM networks. Even so, TCP/IP enthusiasts see a future when the entire nation, and perhaps the world, will be linked by high-speed TCP/IP systems using terrestrial microwave and satellites.

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