SLIP/PPP -- Protocols for transmitting Internet Protocol (IP) packets over serial communication links. SLIP stands for Serial Line Internet Protocol and is the earlier and simpler of the two. PPP stands for Point to Point Protocol and is basically a much improved SLIP. An intermediate Compressed SLIP (CSLIP) protocol is sometimes used. CLIP is SLIP with the 40 byte SLIP headers appended to each Internet Protocol packet shrunk to 6 or 7 bytes. For the most part it doesn't matter which variant is used, just that both ends of the connection use the same protocol.

SLIP/PPP are the protocols most often used to connect computers to their Internet gateways using dial up phone lines. Modern PC OSes usually support SLIP, PPP and the underlying IP protocol. Internet service providers will typically provide a package that handles the specifics of connecting to their service without involving the user. PC applications and destination sites operate in terms of Internet Protocol (IP) without worrying about how the IP Packets get to/from the Internet. Users of nuts and bolts level OSes like MSDOS and Linux may have to worry about details of the protocols when configuring their systems.

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