Security Encyclopedia

Internet Protocol (IP)

Internet Protocol (IP) is the underlying technology that makes the Internet possible. 

IP connects with hosts through interfaces. It converts data into datagrams, which are the header info consisting of source/destination and metadata, and the payload, which is the data itself. 

IP encapsulates the data, nesting it into packets. IP breaks down data packets and rebuilds them as part of its process, called fragmentation and reassembly, so the information that the information received is indistinguishable from what is sent. 

The routers that help move data across boundaries according to IP addresses and subtexts in the header info play a part in this traffic, however they operate using different protocols called routing protocols (e.g. interior gateway protocols or exterior gateway protocols).


“The IP protocol is what makes possible the internet, encapsulating data into packets, breaking down and reassembling it. Giving a glimpse to how this is organized, data packets consist of the data itself and header info such as its authenticity and source.”