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19.1. The Life of an IP Packet

The designers of the original Internet Protocol achieved something that goes beyond being merely clever: they made something that is just about as simple as it can be to achieve its purpose. As a result, you will notice that we are not going to tell you how to route UDP or TCP, because those protocols each can assume that IP takes care of all that fussiness for them. We are also not going to tell you how to route Ethernet, because Ethernet doesn't route; it only communicates on a single subnet.

But this does mean that if you are to understand routing in TCP/IP, you have to know what makes an IP packet move through the system. To this end, we will describe the life cycle of a typical IP packet using a sample network that should be familiar to you if you've read other books by Mark Minasi.


  

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