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ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

On TCP/IP networks, the ARP protocol is used to match up an IP (Internet Protocol) address with a MAC (Medium Access Control) address. An IP address is a high-level internetwork address that identifies a specific computer on a subnetwork of interconnected networks. A MAC address is the hardwired address of a NIC (network interface card). MAC addresses are only used to forward frames between computers attached to the same network. They cannot be used to send frames to computers on other networks that are interconnected by routers. IP addressing must be used to forward frames across router boundaries (assuming TCP/IP networks).

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:

  • ARP across subnets
  • RARP (Reverse Address Resolution Protocol)
  • ARP caching

The following RFCs are related to ARP:

  • RFC 826 (An Ethernet Address Resolution Protocol, November 1982)

  • RFC 903 (Reverse Address Resolution Protocol, June 1982)

  • RFC 1027 (Using ARP to implement transparent subnet gateways, October 1987)

  • RFC 1029 (More fault tolerant approach to address resolution for a Multi-LAN system of Ethernets, May 1988)

  • RFC 1433 (Directed ARP, March 1993)

  • RFC 1868 (ARP Extension, UNARP, November 1995)

  • RFC 1931 (Dynamic RARP Extensions for Automatic Network Address Acquisition, April 1996)

  • RFC 2320 (Classical IP and ARP Over ATM, April 1998)

  • RFC 2390 (Inverse Address Resolution Protocol, August 1998)

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