Internet Engineering Task Force

What Does Internet Engineering Task Force Mean?

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open standards organization that deals with Internet standards and cooperates with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. IETF deals particularly with TCP/IP standards and the IP suite.


IETF is an open organization that does not have any formal membership. All employees and management personnel are volunteers. Annual, bi-annual and quarterly meetings are arranged to discuss previous and future developments regarding different projects and Internet standards.

Techopedia Explains Internet Engineering Task Force

The IETF is one of the main Internet standards organizations in the world. It is composed of network engineers, designers, developers and researchers. The first official meeting of the IETF was conducted in 1986.

The IETF has been involved in Internet standards including protocols, communication devices and connectors. The following eight standards areas have always been a major concern to the IETF:

  • Application
  • General
  • Internet
  • Management and operational
  • Infrastructure and real time development
  • Routing
  • Security
  • Transport

The overall activities of the IETF include publication of draft specifications and then reviewing, testing and re-publishing them. Most of IETF’s developed standards for protocols are individually based and do not interlock with multiple systems, allowing different bodies to adopt IETF protocols for different systems according to their needs and interoperability. Interlocked protocols are much more complex and may create issues when expanding such standards in multiple systems.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…