Point-to-Point Protocol

From Academic Kids

In computing, the Point-to-Point Protocol, or PPP, is commonly used to establish a direct connection between two nodes. Its primary use has been to connect computers using a phone line, though it is also occasionally used over broadband connections (as PPPoE or PPPoA). Many internet service providers use PPP when providing customers with dial-up access (e.g. to the Internet, where it has largely superseded an older protocol known as SLIP).

PPP is commonly used to act as a layer 2 (the "Data Link" layer of the OSI model) protocol for connection over synchronous and asynchronous circuits. PPP was designed to work with several network layer protocols, such as IP, IPX and AppleTalk, and as a replacement for the non-standard layer 2 protocol SLIP.

PPP was designed much later than the original HDLC specifications. As a result, the creators of PPP included many additional features that had not been seen in WAN data-link protocols up to that time.


Enhanced error detection

PPP uses FCS fields to determine if an individual frame has an error; however, PPP monitors the frequency with which frames are received in error, and it can be configured to take down an interface if too many errors occur.

Looped link detection

LCP (Link Control Protocol, an integral part of PPP and defined in the same RFC) notices looped links using a feature involving magic numbers. When using PPP, the endpoint sends PPP LCP messages; these messages include a magic number which is different on each end point. If a line is looped, the end point receives an LCP message with its own magic number instead of getting a message with the other peer's magic number.

Other PPP features

PPP provides hooks for automatically configuring the network interfaces at each end (setting an IP address, default gateway etc.) and for authentication: PAP and CHAP. Compare: DHCP

PPP is described by IETF RFC 1661. Numerous documents on PPP have been published through the RFC process since July 1990, including various authentication, encryption and compression methods and the use of PPP in conjunction with other network protocols.

RFC 1994 describes CHAP, the Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol which is commonly used when establishing dialup connections with ISPs.

RFC 2516 describes PPPoE, a method for transmitting PPP over Ethernet which is sometimes used with DSL.

RFC 2364 describes PPPoA, a method for transmitting PPP over ATM Adaptation Layer 5 (AAL5) known as or PPPoATM for PPP over ATM.

PPP frame

Name Number of bytes Description
Flag 1 indicates frame's begin or end
Address 1 broadcast address
Control 1 control byte
Protocol 2 setting of protocol in data field
Data variable (0 or more) datagram
FCS 2 (or 4) error correction sum


  • RFC 2687, Proposed Standard, PPP in a Real-time Oriented HDLC-like Framing
  • RFC 2153, Informational, PPP Vendor Extensions
  • RFC 1994, PPP Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)
  • RFC 1662, Standard 51, PPP in HDLC-like Framing
  • RFC 1661, Standard 51, The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
  • RFC 1549, Obsolete, PP in HDLC Framing
  • RFC 1548, Obsolete, The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
  • RFC 1334, Obsolete, PPP Authentication Protocols
  • RFC 1331, Obsolete, The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) for the Transmission of Multi-protocol Datagrams over Point-to-Point Links

See also

es:PPP fr:Protocole point point ku:PPP ja:Point-to-Point Protocol nl:Point to Point Protocol pl:PPP ru:PPP (сетевой протокол) fi:PPP sv:Point-to-Point Protocol zh:点对点协议


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