Internet Protocol:- Hosts can only connect if they can find one another on the network. Hosts can communicate directly via MAC address in a single collision domain (where each packet sent by one host to the segment is heard by each other); MAC address is a factory-coded 48-bit hardware address which can also uniquely identify a host. But if a host wants to communicate with a remote host, i.e. not in the same or logically unconnected segment, then some means of addressing is required to uniquely identify the remote host. All hosts connected to the Internet are given a logical address and that logical address is called Internet Protocol Address.see post

The network layer is responsible for transmitting data from one host to the next. It offers means of allocating logical addresses to users, and defining them by the same special method. Network layer takes Transport Layer network units and splits them down to a smaller package called Network Packet.

Network layer defines the path of the data, the packets to reach the destination should follow. Routers are working on this layer and providing mechanism for routing data to destination. Most internet uses a protocol suite, also known as the TCP / IP protocol suite, called the Internet Protocol Suite. This suite is a combination of protocols that encompasses various protocols for different purposes and needs. Since TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and IP ( Internet Protocol) are the two primary protocols in these packages, this is generally called the TCP / IP Protocol Set. This protocol suite has its own pattern of reference and is observed across the internet. This architecture of protocols includes fewer layers as compared to the OSI scheme.

Form 4 of the Internet Protocol (IPv4),

Internet Protocol is a major protocol in the TCP / IP suite of protocols. This protocol works on the OSI model’s network layer, and on the TCP / IP model ‘s Internet layer. This protocol is therefore responsible for identifying hosts based on their logical addresses and routing data across the underlying network among them.

IP provides a mechanism for the unique identification of hosts through an IP scheme. IP uses best effort distribution, i.e. it does not promise the arrival of packets to the intended server, but would try its utmost to meet the target. Version 4 of the Internet Protocol uses a logical address of 32 bits.

As an OSI (layer-3) network, the Internet Protocol takes data fragments from layer-4 (Transport) and splits them into packets. IP packet encapsulates the data unit received from above layer and adds information to its own header.