(pronounced as separate letters) Short
for Internet Protocol.
IP specifies the format of packets, also called datagrams, and the addressing
scheme. Most networks combine IP with a higher-level protocol called
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP),
which establishes a virtual connection between a destination and a source.
IP by itself is something like the postal system. It allows you to address a
package and drop it in the system, but there's no direct link between you and
the recipient. TCP/IP, on the other hand, establishes a connection between two
hosts so that they can send messages back and forth for a period of time.
Ethernet is a local-area network (LAN) architecture developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. The Ethernet specification served as the basis for the IEEE 802.3 standard, which specifies the physical and lower software layers. Ethernet uses the CSMA/CD access method to handle simultaneous demands. It is one of the most widely implemented LAN standards. A newer version of Ethernet was developed, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supporting data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And then Gigabit Ethernet came along, supporting data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.
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