Dr. Reithel
A One-Stop Guide to Internet Protocols

Click here to visit HyperRFC -- a searchable collection of RFC documents.

Click here to visit the home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and view their
collection of RFC and RFC-development processes/materials.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) "The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) provides a framework for passing configuration information to hosts on a TCP/IP network. DHCP is based on the Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP), adding the capability of automatic allocation of reusable network addresses and additional configuration options." Click here for RFC 1531
Gopher A menu-driven TCP/IP internet protocol designed for search and retrieval of distributed documents. Gopher uses a file-system type hierarchy, is easily understandable, and is expressed in a simple syntax. Click here for RFC 1436.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) An application-level protocol which is speedy enough for distributed hypermedia information systems. It is a generic, object-oriented protocol which can be used for many tasks. HTTP has been in use by the World-Wide Web (WWW) global information initiative since 1990. Click here for RFC 1945.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) A simple markup language used to create hypertext documents that are independent of the platform used to view them. HTML has generic semantics that can represent information from a wide range of domains, and has been in use by the World Wide Web (WWW) global information initiative since 1990. Click here for RFC 1866.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) A compact string representation for a resource available via the internet. (An internet address) Click here for RFC 1738 and here for RFC 1630. 
Network File System (NFS) Provides remote access to shared file systems across networks. The NFS protocol allows one to access other databases and files via the internet as though they were simply additional drives on the local computer. Click here for RFC 1813.
Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) Specifies a protocol for the distribution, inquiry, retrieval, and posting of news articles to the internet. NNTP has been designed so that news articles are stored in a central database, allowing a subscriber to select only those items which he or she wishes to read. Messages may also be indexed and cross-referenced as well. Commonly used for what is referred to as "USENET News". Click here for RFC 977.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Used to promote sharing of files and to transfer data reliably and efficiently. FTP is a way to copy files from one computer to (or from) another, remote computer. Click here for RFC 959.
How to use anonymous FTP This explains to the novice internet user how to use the File Transfer Protocol. It explains what FTP is, what anonymous FTP is, and what an anonymous FTP archive site is. Click here for RFC 1635.
Domain Names: Concepts and Facilities The Domain Name System (DNS) is an intentionally extensible system of naming computer on the internet. Each computer on the internet must have a unique Domain Name, and the DNS provides a protocol for naming them. Click here for RFC 1034.
Domain Names: Implementation and Specification This RFC describes the details of the domain system and protocol, and assumes the reader is familiar with the concepts in the "Domain Names -- Concepts and Facilities" RFC. Click here for RFC 1035.
Network Time Protocol Provides the mechanisms to synchronize time and coordinate time distribution in a large, diverse internet. Click here for RFC 1305.
Time Server Protocol which provides a site-independent, machine readable date and time. This makes it possible to quickly confirm or correct a system's date/time in the event of error by making a brief poll of several independent sites on the internet. Click here for RFC 868.
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) Provides a standard method for transporting multi-protocol datagrams over point-to-point links. Often used for dial-up access over potentially "noisy" (static, interference) telephone lines. Click here for RFC 1661.
Serial Line IP (SLIP) The de facto standard for encapsulations for IP packets for serial lines. It is commonly used for point-to-point serial connections (like Modem connections). Click here for RFC 1055.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) SMTP's objective is to transfer mail reliably and efficiently. One important feature of SMTP is its capability to relay mail across transport service environments. Click here for RFC 821.
Post Office Protocol (POP) On some types of smaller nodes in the internet it is often impractical to maintain a message transport system. To solve this problem, a larger node offers a maildrop service to those smaller nodes. The Post Office Protocol (POP) is intended to permit a workstation to dynamically access a maildrop on a server host. POP3 is commonly used by PC-based email programs like Eudora, Pegasus Mail, and Netscape Navigator's built-in mail client. Click here for RFC 1460.
Sender Policy Framework E-mail on the Internet can be forged in a number of ways. In particular, existing protocols place no restriction on what a sending host can use as the reverse-path of a message or the domain given on the SMTP HELO/EHLO commands. This document describes version 1 of the SPF protocol, whereby a domain may explicitly authorize the hosts that are allowed to use its domain name, and a receiving host may check such authorization. Click here for the DRAFT of the RFC
Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) The Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) is a method for adding authentication support to connection-based protocols. To use this specification, a protocol includes a command for identifying and authenticating a user to a server and for optionally negotiating a security layer for subsequent protocol interactions. Click here for RFC 2222
Finger A simple protocol which provides an interface to a remote user information program (RUIP). The purpose of this protocol is to return information about a system's users. Click here for RFC 1288.
Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) A protocol which allows a diskless client machine to discover its own IP address, the address of the server host, and the name of a file to be loaded into memory and executed. Click here for RFC 951.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) This is a protocol by which management information for a network element may be inspected or altered by logically remote users. Click here for RFC 1157.
Format of Electronic Mail Messages This RFC holds information regarding the syntax for text messages that are sent via electronic mail. Click here for RFC 822.
Telnet The purpose of the telnet protocol is to provide a fairly general, bi-directional, 8-bit byte oriented communications facility. Telnet's main goal is to allow a standard method of interfacing terminal devices and terminal-oriented processes to each other. Click here for RFC 854 or here for RFC 855.
Telnet 3270 (for IBM mainframe terminals) Telnet protocol for interfacing with IBM mainframe terminals. This provides the standards for hosts who wish to support 3270 data stream within the telnet protocol. Click here for RFC 1041.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) This protocol is intended for use as a highly reliable host-to-host protocol between hosts in packet-switched computer communication networks, and in interconnected systems of such networks. Click here for RFC 793.
Port numbers: (from TCP document) Multiplexing: To allow for many processes within a single Host to use TCP communication facilities simultaneously, the TCP provides a set of addresses or ports within each host. Concatenated with the network and host addresses from the internet communication layer, this forms a socket. A pair of sockets uniquely identifies each connection. That is, a socket may be simultaneously used in multiple connections.  
Internet Protocol (IP) The Internet Protocol provides for transmitting blocks of data called datagrams from sources to destinations, where sources and destinations are hosts identified by fixed length addresses. The IP also provides for fragmentation and reassembly of long datagrams, if necessary, for transmission through "small packet" networks. Click here for RFC 791.
What is the Internet, anyway? This document provides an in-depth look at the internet, its structure, its history, and its future. Click here for RFC 1935.
Netiquette Guide Provides a minumum set of guidelines for Network Etiquette (Netiquette) which one may take and adapt for their own use. Click here for RFC 1855.
Internet User's Glossary A glossary of terms which are specific to the internet. (An excellent resource for anyone who uses the internet.) Click here for RFC 1392.
There's Gold in them thar Networks! Provides some of the "gold nuggets" of information and file repositories on the internet that could be useful. Click here for RFC 1402.
IETF Request for Comments Query Page Query page for referencing Requests for Comments (RFC's) published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This is a great place to find technical information on anything related to the internet. Click here for IETF RFC Query Page
Not all RFC's are standards Provides information on the incorrect perception that all RFC's are standards. Some are Internet standards and some are simply informational documents, which can result in occasional confusion among readers. Click here for RFC 1796.

Last Modified: Friday, 7-January-2005 08:43 CDT
Copyright 1996-2005, Brian J. Reithel, Ph.D., CDP.  All rights reserved.

Comments: breithel@bus.olemiss.edu