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TCP/IP Networking Model

A networking model, sometimes also called either a networking architecture or networking
blueprint, refers to a comprehensive set of documents. Individually, each document
describes one small function required for a network; collectively, these documents define
everything that should happen for a computer network to work. Some documents define
a protocol, which is a set of logical rules that devices must follow to communicate. Other
documents define some physical requirements for networking. For example, a document
could define the voltage and current levels used on a particular cable when transmitting data.

You can think of a networking model as you think of an architectural blueprint for building
a house. Sure, you can build a house without the blueprint. However, the blueprint can
ensure that the house has the right foundation and structure so that it will not fall down,
and it has the correct hidden spaces to accommodate the plumbing, electrical, gas, and so
on. Also, the many different people that build the house using the blueprint—such as framers,
electricians, bricklayers, painters, and so on—know that if they follow the blueprint,
their part of the work should not cause problems for the other workers.

Similarly, you could build your own network—write your own software, build your own
networking cards, and so on—to create a network. However, it is much easier to simply buy
and use products that already conform to some well-known networking model or blueprint.
Because the networking product vendors build their products with some networking model
in mind, their products should work well together.

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