Practical Networking .net

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

arp-series-pictureAn IP address is the logical addressing scheme for nodes on a network. IP Addresses exist at the Network layer of the OSI Model and help facilitate the L3 goal of “end to end” delivery.

A MAC address is the physical addressing scheme for individual NIC cards on each node of a network. MAC addresses exist at the Data Link layer of the OSI Model and help facilitate the L2 goal of “hop to hop” delivery.

The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) creates the correlation which makes the union between these two addressing schemes possible.

We’ve already discussed the basic functionality of ARP and its role in how packets move through a network. However, there are different iterations of address resolution – each employed at different times and for different situations.

This article series will discuss each of these iterations and the situations for which they are used.


  1. Syed Huq says

    It would be nice to give the exact syntax example of an arp command and show the output of that command. I hope you can also cover BGP, OSPF, Spanning Tree etc.


    • Hi Syed, I intentionally omitted output for verifying ARP tables on hosts / routers / etc because syntax and command output can change, where as the underlying technology is far less likely to change. Hence these articles focus on the protocol itself, and are not subject to being obsolete with any new vendor codes, patches, operating systems, service packs, etc.

      More articles to come. Sign up for the e-mail list to get a notice when new articles are published.

  2. Zvonko Gulisija says

    very nice bundle of articles! Just keep on!

  3. Thank you so much !!

  4. These videos and pages are great! Thanks for posting this stuff!

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