I wrote this page as a reference guide for myself, and for those who are new to network engineering. I wanted to quantify and organize all of the protcols (and concepts) that an engineer or network administrator needs to be familiar with in order to perform his job. These are the essential protocols and applications which make up the Internet as we know it today. I imagine that this document will slowly change over time, just as the Internet changes over time.

What is absolutely amazing to me is that we could have a fully-functional, useful Internet with less than 25 standard protocols. Of course, there are many more in use, but there are only a handful that are really necessary.

With many of the protocols, I have included HOWTOs or Quickstart Guides. These will usually be on one of the following platforms:

Internet protocols (and core applications) are a fascinating subject. If you have any comments, corrections, or additions, please e-mail me:

Layered Protocols

Fundamental to understanding Internet applications, protocols, and standards is the concept of the protocol stack, or layered protocols. The two protocol stack models that are relevant to the Internet are the OSI Protocol Stack, and the TCP/IP Protocol Stack.

Core/Infrastructure Protocols and Programs

IPInternet Protocol
TCPTransmission Control Protocol
UDPUser Datagram Protocol
ARPAddress Resolution Protocol
ICMPInternet Control Message Protocol
OSPFOpen Shortest Path First
IS-ISIntermediate System - Intermediate System
BGPBorder Gateway Protcol
MPLSMultiprotocol Label Switching
FTPFile Transfer Protocol
TFTPTrival File Transfer Protocol
SSHSecure Shell
DNSDomain Name System
DHCPDynamic Host Configuration Protocol
PPPPoint to Point Protocol
RADIUSRemote Authentication Dial-In User Service
SYSLOGSystem Logger
SNMPSimple Network Management Protocol
NTPNetwork Time Protocol

Classic Internet Protocols, Programs, and Standards

FTPFile Transfer Protocol
SMTPSimple Mail Transfer Protocol
MIMEMultipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
POPPost Office Protocol
IMAPInternet Message Access Protocol
NNTPNetwork News Transport Protocol
IRCInternet Relay Chat
FINGERFinger User Information Protocol

Web & Multimedia Protocols and Programs

HTTPHypertext Transfer Protocol
FTPFile Transfer Protocol
WebDAVWebpage Distributed Authoring and Versioning
IMAPInternet Message Access Protocol
LDAPLightweight Directory Access Protocol
XMPPExtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol
RTP/RTSPReal-time Transport Protocol/Real Time Streaming Protocol
H.323Video/Audio Conferencing over IP
SIPSession Initiation Protocol

Security & Tunneling Protocols

TLS/SSLTransport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer
IPSecIP Security Protocol
SSHSecure Shell
GREGeneric Routing Encapsulation
PPTPPoint to Point Tunneling Protocol
IP-in-IPIP in IP Tunneling Protocol
L2TPLayer 2 Tunneling Protocol
PGPPretty Good Privacy

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