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TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols by W. Richard Stevens

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Chapter 4. ARP: Address Resolution Protocol

Introduction

The problem that we deal with in this chapter is that IP addresses only make sense to the TCP/IP protocol suite. A data link such as an Ethernet or a token ring has its own addressing scheme (often 48-bit addresses) to which any network layer using the data link must conform. A network such as an Ethernet can be used by different network layers at the same time. For example, a collection of hosts using TCP/IP and another collection of hosts using some PC network software can share the same physical cable.

When an Ethernet frame is sent from one host on a LAN to another, it is the 48-bit Ethernet address that determines for which interface the frame is destined. The device driver software never ...

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