Address Resolution Protocol (arp)
The address resolution protocol (arp) is a protocol used by the Internet Protocol (IP) [RFC826], specifically IPv4, to map IP network addresses to the hardware addresses used by a data link protocol. The protocol operates below the network layer as a part of the interface between the OSI network and OSI link layer. It is used when IPv4 is used over Ethernet.

The term address resolution refers to the process of finding an address of a computer in a network. The address is "resolved" using a protocol in which a piece of information is sent by a client process executing on the local computer to a server process executing on a remote computer. The information received by the server allows the server to uniquely identify the network system for which the address was required and therefore to provide the required address. The address resolution procedure is completed when the client receives a response from the server containing the required address.

An Ethernet network uses two hardware addresses which identify the source and destination of each frame sent by the Ethernet. The destination address (all 1's) may also identify a broadcast packet (to be sent to all connected computers). The hardware address is also known as the Medium Access Control (MAC) address, in reference to the standards which define Ethernet. Each computer network interface card is allocated a globally unique 6 byte link address when the factory manufactures the card (stored in a PROM). This is the normal link source address used by an interface. A computer sends all packets which it creates with its own hardware source link address, and receives all packets which match the same hardware address in the destination field or one (or more) pre-selected broadcast/multicast addresses.

The Ethernet address is a link layer address and is dependent on the interface card which is used. IP operates at the network layer and is not concerned with the link addresses of individual nodes which are to be used.The address resolution protocol (arp) is therefore used to translate between the two types of address. The arp client and server processes operate on all computers using IP over Ethernet. The processes are normally implemented as part of the software driver that drives the network interface card.

There are four types of arp messages that may be sent by the arp protocol. These are identified by four values in the "operation" field of an arp message. The types of message are:

  • ARP request
  • ARP reply
  • RARP request
  • RARP reply


Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name might translate to

The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

Computers and other network devices on the Internet use an IP address to route your request to the site you're trying to reach. This is similar to dialing a phone number to connect to the person you're trying to call. Thanks to DNS, though, you don't have to keep your own address book of IP addresses. Instead, you just connect through a domain name server, also called a DNS server or name server, which manages a massive database that maps domain names to IP addresses.

Whether you're accessing a Web site or sending e-mail, your computer uses a DNS server to look up the domain name you're trying to access. The proper term for this process is DNS name resolution, and you would say that the DNS server resolves the domain name to the IP address. For example, when you enter "" in your browser, part of the network connection includes resolving the domain name "" into an IP address, like, for HowStuffWorks' Web servers.

You can always bypass a DNS lookup by entering directly in your browser (give it a try). However, you're probably more likely to remember "" when you want to return later. In addition, a Web site's IP address can change over time, and some sites associate multiple IP addresses with a single domain name.

Without DNS servers, the Internet would shut down very quickly. But how does your computer know what DNS server to use? Typically, when you connect to your home network, Internet service provider (ISP) or WiFi network, the modem or router that assigns your computer's network address also sends some important network configuration information to your computer or mobile device. That configuration includes one or more DNS servers that the device should use when translating DNS names to IP address.

Domain name syntax
The definitive descriptions of the rules for forming domain names appear in RFC 1035, RFC 1123, and RFC 2181. A domain name consists of one or more parts, technically called labels, that are conventionally concatenated, and delimited by dots, such as

The right-most label conveys the top-level domain; for example, the domain name belongs to the top-level domain com.
The hierarchy of domains descends from right to left; each label to the left specifies a subdivision, or subdomain of the domain to the right. For example: the label example specifies a subdomain of the com domain, and www is a sub domain of This tree of subdivisions may have up to 127 levels.
Each label may contain up to 63 characters. The full domain name may not exceed a total length of 253 characters in its external dotted-label specification.[8] In the internal binary representation of the DNS the maximum length requires 255 octets of storage.[1] In practice, some domain registries may have shorter limits.[citation needed]
DNS names may technically consist of any character representable in an octet. However, the allowed formulation of domain names in the DNS root zone, and most other sub domains, uses a preferred format and character set. The characters allowed in a label are a subset of the ASCII character set, and includes the characters a through z, A through Z, digits 0 through 9, and the hyphen. This rule is known as the LDH rule (letters, digits, hyphen). Domain names are interpreted in case-independent manner.[9] Labels may not start or end with a hyphen.[10]
A hostname is a domain name that has at least one IP address associated. For example, the domain names and are also hostnames, whereas the com domain is not.


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol that enables a server to automatically assign an IP address to a computer from a defined range of numbers (i.e., a scope) configured for a given network.

DHCP assigns an IP address when a system is started, for example:

  • A user turns on a computer with a DHCP client.
  • The client computer sends a broadcast request (called a DISCOVER or DHCPDISCOVER), looking for a DHCP server to answer.
  • The router directs the DISCOVER packet to the correct DHCP server.
  • The server receives the DISCOVER packet. Based on availability and usage policies set on the server, the server determines an appropriate address (if any) to give to the client. The server then temporarily reserves that address for the client and sends back to the client an OFFER (or DHCPOFFER) packet, with that address information. The server also configures the client's DNS servers, WINS servers, NTP servers, and sometimes other services as well.
  • The client sends a REQUEST (or DHCPREQUEST) packet, letting the server know that it intends to use the address.
  • The server sends an ACK (or DHCPACK) packet, confirming that the client has a been given a lease on the address for a server-specified period of time.

When a computer uses a static IP address, it means that the computer is manually configured to use a specific IP address. One problem with static assignment, which can result from user error or inattention to detail, occurs when two computers are configured with the same IP address. This creates a conflict that results in loss of service. Using DHCP to dynamically assign IP addresses minimizes these conflicts.

The DHCP server may have three methods of allocating IP-addresses:
dynamic allocation: A network administrator assigns a range of IP addresses to DHCP, and each client computer on the LAN is configured to request an IP address from the DHCP server during network initialization. The request-and-grant process uses a lease concept with a controllable time period, allowing the DHCP server to reclaim (and then reallocate) IP addresses that are not renewed.
automatic allocation: The DHCP server permanently assigns a free IP address to a requesting client from the range defined by the administrator. This is like dynamic allocation, but the DHCP server keeps a table of past IP address assignments, so that it can preferentially assign to a client the same IP address that the client previously had.
static allocation: The DHCP server allocates an IP address based on a table with MAC address/IP address pairs, which are manually filled in (perhaps by a network administrator). Only clients with a MAC address listed in this table will be allocated an IP address. This feature, which is not supported by all DHCP servers, is variously called Static DHCP Assignment by DD-WRT, fixed-address by the dhcpd documentation, Address Reservation by Netgear, DHCP reservation or Static DHCP by Cisco and Linksys, and IP reservation or MAC/IP binding by various other router manufacturers.

DHCP uses the same two ports assigned by IANA for BOOTP: destination UDP port 67 for sending data to the server, and UDP port 68 for data to the client. DHCP communications are connectionless in nature.

DHCP operations fall into four basic phases: IP discovery, IP lease offer, IP request, and IP lease acknowledgement. These points are often abbreviated as DORA (Discovery, Offer, Request, Acknowledgement).

DHCP clients and servers on the same subnet communicate via UDP broadcasts, initially. If the client and server are on different subnets, a DHCP Helper or DHCP Relay Agent may be used. Clients requesting renewal of an existing lease may communicate directly via UDP unicast, since the client already has an established IP address at that point.

An image of DHCP settings


Ping is a computer network administration utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network and to measure the round-trip time for messages sent from the originating host to a destination computer. The name comes from active sonar terminology which sends a pulse of sound and listens for the echo to detect objects underwater.

Ping operates by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packets to the target host and waiting for an ICMP response. In the process it measures the time from transmission to reception (round-trip time)[1] and records any packet loss. The results of the test are printed in the form of a statistical summary of the response packets received, including the minimum, maximum, and the mean round-trip times, and sometimes the standard deviation of the mean.

Depending on the implementation, the ping command can be run with various command line switches to enable special operational modes. Example options include: specifying the packet size used as the probe, automatic repeated operation for sending a specified count of probes, and time stamping.

PING is used to discover whether a remote host is able to respond to network traffic across the path between the source and destination of the ping.

All Platforms

ping PINGs a remote host by IP address. This will always succeed if the network path and the remote host are working and the PINGs are not being blocked.
ping PINGs a host by name. If DNS is working, this will succeed.