TCP/IP and IPX/SPX aren’t the single protocol but a protocol suite. The IPX network was formed by Novell Interware only to be used for Novell networks. With the huge popularity of the IPX/SPX today, it has deferred to TCP/IP though it is used in a few network environments still. The suitability of TCP/IP for bigger multisite networks & general acceptance has led Novell to take TCP/IP as its choice of protocol. In this article, we are going to differentiate TCP/IP and IPX/SPX networks in detail, without wasting any time, let’s start:
What is TCP/IP?
Transmission Control Protocol is the connection-based network protocol who will break down data in packets where IP protocol transmits across to other networks. IP is generally located at a TCP/IP layer that corresponds to its network layer of the OSI Model. It is the responsibility of IP to rout packets by the IP address.
Internet Protocol is the connectionless protocol that means, IP doesn’t establish any connection between the source & destination before transmitting its data, therefore packet delivery isn’t assured by IP. But, this should be provided by Transmission Control Protocol. Being a connection-based protocol, TCP is made to guarantee the delivery just by monitoring its connection between the destination and source before its data get transmitted. TCP places the packets in proper order and needs acknowledgment from its receiving node they arrived rightly before further data is transmitted across.
Benefits of TCP/IP network protocol
- It’s interoperable and allows cross-platform communications for heterogeneous networks.
- It is the industry-standard model, which is deployed effectively in practical networking issues.
- It’s the scalable and client-server architecture. The server allows other networks to get added without even disrupting its current services.
- It’s an open protocol and not owned by a particular institute, so it can be easily used by a person or organization.
What is IPX/SPX?
Internetwork Packet Exchange or Sequenced Packet Exchange is a primary protocol of the Novell NetWare. IPX/SPX server is used mainly on the networks that make use of the Novell NetWare network OS. The IPX/SPX protocols offer services that are similar to one offered by the IP & TCP. Just like IP, Internetwork Packet Exchange is the connectionless network protocol.
And SPX runs over the IPX at a transport layer and, just like TCP, offer connection-oriented and guaranteed delivery. IPX and SPX offer many similar features like TCP/IP, it is the routable transport protocol, which allows the networks to get segmented. But, network segmentation with the IPX/SPX can be done with the network numbers & not with the subnet masks. Both the server protocols are quite similar and rely on the internal protocols for their network communication.
IPX is known as the connectionless datagram transmission service. As it is connectionless, just like UDP, it doesn’t need any kind of preliminary connection setting to send the data packets. One disadvantage to the connectionless communication is that its flow control & error correction aren’t provided during the network communication. Additionally, packet delivery isn’t guaranteed. IPX offers to route and addressing of the packets within or between the network segments.
SPX has similar operations like TCP and it is connection-oriented transfer over IPX. Because of this, error correction and flow control are offered all along with the packet delivery acknowledgments. And SPX allows one single packet to stay unacknowledged at a time. Suppose the packet gets unacknowledged, then the packet gets retransmitted 8 times and supposes there is not any acknowledgment, then SPX considers its connection failed.
Benefits of IPX/SPX
- IPX has a huge address space: 48 bits than 32bits in IPv4.
- IPX/SPX was mainly developed for the local area networks or LANs and proves highly efficient when it is used for the same reason only.
- There is no BootP and DHCP in IPX. (And DHCP was made from BootP so that IPv4 can allow “plug-n-go” network addressing just like IPX and later got added in the IPv6.)
- IPX addresses include local MAC address that “address assignment” just like with the IPv4.
IPX network can coexist on LAN with the TCP/IP. And PCs that want to get isolated from the web still can share the files or printers by adopting IPX & not loading TCP. It is much more secure than a firewall.