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This chapter provides a (necessarily) brief introduction to
computer networking concepts. For many applications of
to TCP/IP networking, we hope that this is enough. For more
advanced tasks, you will need deeper background, and it may be necessary
to switch to lower-level programming in C or C++.
There are two real-life models for the way computers send messages to each other over a network. While the analogies are not perfect, they are close enough to convey the major concepts. These two models are the phone system (reliable byte-stream communications), and the postal system (best-effort datagrams).