Book Image

Hands-On Network Programming with C

By : Lewis Van Winkle
Book Image

Hands-On Network Programming with C

By: Lewis Van Winkle

Overview of this book

Network programming enables processes to communicate with each other over a computer network, but it is a complex task that requires programming with multiple libraries and protocols. With its support for third-party libraries and structured documentation, C is an ideal language to write network programs. Complete with step-by-step explanations of essential concepts and practical examples, this C network programming book begins with the fundamentals of Internet Protocol, TCP, and UDP. You’ll explore client-server and peer-to-peer models for information sharing and connectivity with remote computers. The book will also cover HTTP and HTTPS for communicating between your browser and website, and delve into hostname resolution with DNS, which is crucial to the functioning of the modern web. As you advance, you’ll gain insights into asynchronous socket programming and streams, and explore debugging and error handling. Finally, you’ll study network monitoring and implement security best practices. By the end of this book, you’ll have experience of working with client-server applications and be able to implement new network programs in C. The code in this book is compatible with the older C99 version as well as the latest C18 and C++17 standards. You’ll work with robust, reliable, and secure code that is portable across operating systems, including Winsock sockets for Windows and POSIX sockets for Linux and macOS.
Table of Contents (26 chapters)
Title Page
About Packt


In this chapter, we looked briefly at how internet traffic is routed. We learned that there are two Internet Protocol versions, IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 has a limited number of addresses, and these addresses are running out. One of IPv6's main advantages is that it has enough address space for every system to have its own unique publicly-routable address. The limited address space of IPv4 is largely mitigated by network address translation performed by routers. We also looked at how to detect your local IP address using both utilities and APIs provided by the operating system.

We saw that the APIs provided for listing local IP addresses differ quite a bit between Windows and Unix-based operating systems. In future chapters, we will see that most other networking functions are similar between operating systems, and we can write one portable program that works between operating systems.

It's OK if you didn't pick up all of the details in this chapter. Most of this information is a helpful background, but it's not essential to most network application programming. Details such as network address translation are handled by the network, and these details will not usually need to be explicitly addressed by your programs.

In the next chapter, we will reinforce the ideas covered here by introducing socket-programming APIs.