The Network Layer

The network layer provides for the logical addressing which enables two disparate systems on different logical networks to determine a possible path to communicate. The network layer is the layer in which routing protocols reside.

On the Internet today, IP addressing is by far the most common addressing scheme in use. Routing protocols such as Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (Enhanced IGRP, or EIGRP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Intermediary System to Intermediary System (IS-IS), and many others are used to determine the optimal routes between two logical subnetworks (subnets).

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