The IP suite is a suite of protocols required for transmitting and receiving information using the Internet. It is commonly known as TCP/IP because the first two networking protocols defined for this standard were TCP and IP. The open standards-based TCP/IP has replaced other vendor proprietary protocol suites, such as Apple’s AppleTalk and Novell’s Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX).

The first packet switching network and predecessor to today’s Internet was the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), which came to life in 1969 by connecting mainframe computers at four locations. ARPANET was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense for use by universities and research laboratories. Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) was the contractor that did much of the initial development of the ARPANET, including creating the first router known as an Interface Message Processor (IMP).

In 1973, Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf began work on TCP to develop the next generation of the ARPANET. TCP was designed to replace ARPANET’s current Network Control Program (NCP). In 1978, TCP was divided into two protocols: TCP and IP. Later, other protocols were added to the TCP/IP suite of protocols including Telnet, FTP, DNS, and many others.

Click through the timeline in the figure to see details about the development of other network protocols and applications.