Accessing the Internet

R’s socket facilities give the programmer access to the Internet’s TCP/IP protocol. For readers who are not familiar with this protocol, we begin with an overview of TCP/IP.

Overview of TCP/IP

TCP/IP is quite complex, so the overview here will be something of an oversimplification, but we’ll cover enough for you to understand what R’s socket functions are doing.

For our purposes here, the term network refers to a set of computers connected together locally, without going through the Internet. This typically consists of all the computers in a home, all the computers in a smaller business, and so on. The physical medium between them is usually an Ethernet connection of some form.

The Internet, as its name implies, connects ...

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