PPP and Shell

What is PPP?

PPP (Point to Point Protocol) is a way of establishing a network connection over a phone line. PPP, the official serial line protocol of the Internet, is in many ways very similar to SLIP. PPP is more flexible than SLIP, though. PPP gathers important IP information from the server (the network being contacted), and allows other protocols beyond TCP/IP.

What does it do?

PPP allows a remote computer to become part of a network with only some software and a modem. When you connect to Interport using PPP, the connection has three main stages, or "layers:"
- The Physical Layer is the actual connection over a phone line of one computer to another. This is usually accomplished with a modem.
- The Network Layer is a software connection that establishes your computer as part of a TCP/IP network. In other words, your computer becomes part of the Internet, with it's own, unique IP address. This layer is accomplished with special software such as Trumpet Winsock, or Mac TCP and Mac PPP.
- The Application Layer describes the programs that you run to make use of this network connection. Netscape is an example of a network application.

How do I establish a PPP connection?

To establish a PPP network connection, you will need special software. SCESCAPE clients use Trumpet Winsock(PC) and Mac PPP(Mac). These programs are designed to use a modem to establish a connection (physical layer), and then use PPP protocol to establish a network connection. Once the network layer has been established, this network connection can be used by applications like Netscape.

What is Shell Access?

Before PPP, remote computers could only log in as dumb terminals of the the main system. This 'dumb terminal' mode is now called "Shell Access." Many people still prefer the high speed of using Shell access to the Internet, or using the main network for its resources. But most people prefer the flexibility that PPP allows.

SCESCAPE subscribers have access to PPP or Shell. For information on how to access the Unix Shell at SCESCAPE, click here.