Understanding Address Resolution Protocol
The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a fundamental protocol used in computer networks to map an IP address to a physical or link-layer address. It is used to resolve network layer addresses (IP addresses) to data link layer addresses (MAC addresses) for delivering data packets within a local network.
How Address Resolution Protocol Works
When a device wants to communicate with another device on the same network, it needs to resolve the destination device's MAC address. The ARP protocol works by broadcasting an ARP request packet containing the IP address of the destination device. The device with the corresponding IP address then responds with an ARP reply packet, providing its MAC address.
Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) in Computer Networks
The ARP protocol is crucial for the proper functioning of computer networks. It enables devices to maintain an ARP table, also known as the ARP cache, which stores a mapping of IP addresses to MAC addresses. This cache is used to efficiently deliver data packets within the local network, avoiding the need for repeated ARP requests and replies.
ARP RFC and Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP)
The Address Resolution Protocol is defined in RFC 826 and is widely implemented across network devices. Additionally, there is a related protocol called Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP), which performs the reverse process of ARP. RARP is used to find the IP address associated with a known MAC address.