Point to Point Protocol. Enables people to have TCP/IP communication over a serial line. Often used to get Internet access through a modem. Outdates an older variant named SLIP. How to set up PPP is also a very common question among Linux newbies. The world would be a nicer place if we could avoid using PPP at all.

If you're a poor man like me, then you are pretty much stuck with a modem as your hardware for telecommunications. If you are in this boat, then PPP is pretty much the choice for serial-line TCP/IP WAN connectivity.

If you are rich, then you have a T1 or better running into your pad, and will never need to deal with PPP.

Most modern Linux distributions make setting up PPP a snap. Just RTFM and you'll have it done in 30 minutes.

PPP is a non-proprietary data encapsulation method that can be used in synchronous (ISDN) or asynchronous (dial-up) networks. Its stack is specified at layers 1 and 2. PPP was created to work with multiple protocols at the network layer, and does this with the NCP (Network Control Protocol), which is actually a family of protocols. It uses the LCP (Link Control Protocol) to build and maintain data link connections. The LCP and NCP are two of PPP's four components, along with HDLC and EIA/TIA-232-C.

PPP has two authentication methods: PAP and CHAP. PAP is done only at the link establishment phase. The remote device sends the username and password back to the local until authentication is acknowledged. Passwords are in cleartext. CHAP is used at link establishment and periodically to check if the device is still communicating with the original host. Refer to quidfoabro's excellent CHAP write-up for more information.

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