Network Layer in Computer Network

This tutorial covers the basic introduction of network layer in computer network, network layer design issues, network layer services and functions.



Network Layer Tutorial


This tutorial covers the basic introduction of network layer in computer network, network layer design issues, network layer services and functions.

Network Layer Introduction


Network layer of TCP/IP model in computer network is responsible for taking the packets from the source node or host and deliver it to the destination node. Packet goes through several intermediate node and network router during its transmission from source to destination.  

The correct delivery of entire message or data packet at the destination side is verified at Transport layer by TCP protocol.

The Network layer of TCP/IP protocol suite supports the Internetworking Protocol which provides the basic packet delivery to all TCP/IP networks. ARP, RARP, ICMP and IGMP are some supporting protocols used at this layer to achieve the functioning.

ARP: ARP is known as Address resolution protocol which is used to find out the physical address correspond to an IP address It is required because final delivery of the data packet is on physical address of the host.

RARP: IT is known as Reverse Address resolution protocol and used to find IP address for a physical address it is needed when a Computer is connected to a network first time.

ICMP: ICMP is known as Internet Control Message Protocol and this protocol  is  used by a node or gateway to send the notification related to datagram problems back to the sender. ICMP sends query and error reporting messages.

IGMP: Internet group management Protocol;  IT is used by host and adjacent routers on network to making the multicast group membership.  


network layer design issues


Functions or Services of Network Layer


The basic functions of the network layer or some issues covered by the Network Layer are as follows:

(1) Define the Datagram: Datagram is the basic unit of transmission in the internet. Internet Protocol transports data in packet which called datagram and each of the datagram is transported separately. Datagram can travel along different routes and can be arrived out of order at the destination host and may be duplicated.

(2)Routing : Routing is a process of moving data across the network from source to destination. During this moving at least one intermediate node is encountered. The routing process basically consist of two tasks. 

First it decide the  path for data transfer and after that send the packet on decided path. Route is used to performed these two tasks. At router routing algorithm decides which output line or path is used to transfer the packet.

(3)Congestion Control: At Network Layer Congestion may occur at router when of data packet arriving at the router are coming at more data rate as compare to data rate used for outing the data packet from the router. Congestion may be caused by many factors. 

When data packets reached at router the these data packet are put in to a queue in the order in which these arrived. In this situation a condition may arise when for all incoming packets same path is selected for transmission. This situation cause congestion at router. There may be some another reasons for congestion such as low bandwidth and limited amount of memory.

 (4) IP Addressing: IP Addressing or logical addressing is the main task performed at the network layer. IP address is also known as logical address which is assigned to each host present in a network. In IP addressing scheme two device can not have same IP address. 

In private network IP address can be managed easily. In order to maintained uniqueness of IP address are registered to the Internet Network Information Center. When a particular organization  apply for registration then corresponding authority provides a network address to the applicant organization. Which then make the network for its use  and assign the IP address to each host  in that network.

Now let us discuss what is the IP Address. Actually an IP address is a 32 bits number ( as per IPV4)  and This 32 bits number is divided in two parts
(     
       1)   Network Address or Network ID.
(     2)   The Host Address or Host ID.

The first part of IP address provide the information about the network address on which the host resides and second part is host id which is used to identify a particular host on the given network.  


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Computer Science Junction: Network Layer in Computer Network
Network Layer in Computer Network
This tutorial covers the basic introduction of network layer in computer network, network layer design issues, network layer services and functions.
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