Neighbor Discovery Protocol

What Does Neighbor Discovery Protocol Mean?

Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) is a part of the Internet Protocol suite used with IPv6. The IPv6 standard was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force to help address the finite number of addresses assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority under IPv4.


The protocol performs functions that are similar to those addressed by the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), as well as Router Discovery and Router Redirect protocols used in IPv4. NDP, however, has been improved compared to its IPv4 predecessors.

Techopedia Explains Neighbor Discovery Protocol

In terms of its actual function, NDP operates in the link layer of Internet network architecture. In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, the link layer represents a specific protocol involving the data link layer, Layer 2, and the physical layer, or Layer 1, of the OSI model. The OSI model was developed in the late 1970s by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Telecommunications Standardization Sector to provide consistent IT implementation for the use of data and networking.

NDP covers different kinds of network communication such as router solicitation, router advertisement and neighbor solicitation or advertisement. These kinds of processes help to route data along network trajectories using individual nodes.

In general, systems like NDP help to make data transmission more efficient and consistent across multiple networks and processes. Major tech providers like Cisco have maintained more resources on how to use NDP within a network structure.


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Margaret Rouse

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…