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IP Packet Format

IP Packet Format
No. 1 2 3 IP Header Field Version IP Header Length (IHL) Type-of-Service Bits 4 4 8 Purpose Indicates the version of IP currently used. Ipv4 or Ipv6 Indicates the datagram header length in 32-bit words. Minimum is 5 that is most commonly used. Header must be at least 20 bytes long. Specifies how an upper-layer protocol would like a current datagram to be handled, and assigns DATAGRAMS various levels of importance, like Reliability, Precedence, Delay and Throughput Parameters. It is indication of the quality of Service requested for IP Packet. Usually it is not used. Specifies the length, in bytes, of the entire IP packet, including the data and header. Contains a unique integer assigned by sending device that identifies the current datagram to aid in reassembling a fragmented packet. Primary purpose is to allow the destination device to collect all fragments from a packet, since they will have the same identification number. Consists of a 3-bit field of which the two low-order (leastsignificant) bits control fragmentation. The low-order (3rd) bit specifies whether the packet can be fragmented, if zero means Last Fragment, if one means More Fragment. The middle bit (2nd) specifies whether the packet is the last fragment in a series of fragmented packets, if zero means May Fragment if one means Dont Fragment. The high-order (1st) bit is not used and always zero. Indicates the position of the fragments data relative to the beginning of the data in the original datagram, which allows the destination IP process to properly reconstruct the original datagram. Used with fragmented packets for full packet reassembling. Maintains a counter that gradually decrements down to zero, at which point the datagram is discarded. It contains time, that packet is allowed to remain on an Inter-network. Each IP device that the packet passes through will decrease the value by the time it takes it to process the IP Header. All routers must decrease this value by a minimum of one. If value drops to zero the packet is discarded. This guarantees that packets cannot travel around an IP network in a loop even if routing tables become corrupt. Indicates which upper-layer protocol receives incoming packets after IP processing is complete. Helps ensure IP header integrity. Specifies the 32-bit IP address of sending node. Specifies the 32-bit IP address of receiving node. Allows IP to support various options, such as security. These are not required in every packet, may be used for Network testing or debugging. Contains upper-layer information. The total length of Data field plus header (is 65,535 maximum).

4 5

Total Length Identification

16 16


Fragment Offset



9 10 11 12 13 14

Protocol Header Checksum Source Address Destination Address Options Data

8 16 32 32 VAR VAR