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Why are sockets necessary?

Why are sockets necessary? Could you please provide an example that would NOT work if sockets were not built into transport protocols.
Sockets are one of the most basic building blocks of the communication process. Simply stated, a socket is an IP address and a port. Sockets exist within communication domains and allow for bi-directional, reliably, and sequenced data flow. When used in the client/server model, it allows programs such as FTP and Telnet to function properly.

As an example, a Telnet server listens at port 23 for service requests. Telnet will remain inactive until a client connects to the servers IP address. This request would be passed up the stack to the appropriate port (23). At that moment, the server would wake up and perform whatever has been requested by the client.

Therefore, without an IP address, the client would not be able to find the server or without the correct port, the client couldn?t find the need server services.

I hope this brief explanation helps in your understanding of the process.

This was last published in December 2002

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