Internet Control Message Protocol

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The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is one of the core protocols of the Internet Protocol Suite. It is chiefly used by the operating systems of networked computers to send error messages—indicating, for instance, that a requested service is not available or that a host or router could not be reached. ICMP can also be used to relay query messages.[1]

ICMP[2] relies on IP to perform its tasks, and it is an integral part of IP. It differs in purpose from transport protocols such as TCP and UDP in that it is typically not used to send and receive data between end systems. It is usually not used directly by user network applications, with some notable exceptions being the ping tool and traceroute.

ICMP for Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is also known as ICMPv4. IPv6 has a similar protocol, ICMPv6.

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