Point-to-Point Protocol

What Does Point-to-Point Protocol Mean?

Point-to-point protocol (PPP) is a computer network protocol used to transfer a datagram between two directly connected (point-to-point) computers. This protocol is used for a very basic level of connectivity providing data linkage between the computers.


Point-to-point protocol is widely used for the heavier and faster connections necessary for broadband communications.

Point-to-point protocol is also known as RFC 1661.

Techopedia Explains Point-to-Point Protocol

There are many physical mediums for point-to-point connectivity, such as simple serial cables, mobile phones and telephone lines.

For Ethernet networks, TCP and IP were introduced for data communication purposes. Both of these protocols have specifications for Ethernet networks only. Thus, TCP and IP do not support point-to-point connections. Therefore, PPP was introduced for point-to-point connectivity without Ethernet.

When two computers are being connected directly, both ends send a request for configuration. Once the computers are connected, PPP handles link control, data control and protocol encapsulation.


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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…