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IP Payload Compression Protocol (IPComp) (RFC3173) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005369D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-13
Document File: 13 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

A. Shacham: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC3173: DOI


This document describes a protocol intended to provide lossless compression for Internet Protocol datagrams in an Internet environment. [STANDARDS-TRACK]

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 14% of the total text.

Network Working Group A. Shacham Request for Comments: 3173 Juniper Obsoletes: 2393 B. Monsour Category: Standards Track Consultant R. Pereira Cisco M. Thomas Consultant September 2001

IP Payload Compression Protocol (IPComp)

Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.


This document describes a protocol intended to provide lossless compression for Internet Protocol datagrams in an Internet environment.

1. Introduction

IP payload compression is a protocol to reduce the size of IP datagrams. This protocol will increase the overall communication performance between a pair of communicating hosts/gateways ("nodes") by compressing the datagrams, provided the nodes have sufficient computation power, through either CPU capacity or a compression coprocessor, and the communication is over slow or congested links.

IP payload compression is especially useful when encryption is applied to IP datagrams. Encrypting the IP datagram causes the data to be random in nature, rendering compression at lower protocol layers (e.g., PPP Compression Control Protocol [RFC1962]) ineffective. If both compression and encryption are required, compression must be applied before encryption.

Shacham, et al. Standards Track [Page 1]

RFC 3173 IP Payload Compression Protocol September 2001

This document defines the IP payload compression protocol (IPComp), the IPComp packet structure, the IPComp Association (IPCA), and several methods to negotiate the IPCA.

Other documents shall specify how a specific compression algorithm can be used with the IP payload compression protocol. Such algorithms are beyond the scope of this document.

1.1. Specification of Requirements

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

2. Compression Process

The compression processing of IP datagrams has two phases: compressing of outbound IP datagrams ("compression") and decompressing of inbound datagrams ("decompression"). The compression processing MUST be lossless, ensuring that the IP datagram, after being compressed and decompressed, is identical to the original IP datagram.

Each IP datagram is compressed and decompressed by itself without any relation to other datagrams ("stateless compression"), as IP datagrams may arrive out of order or not arrive at all. Each compressed IP datagram encapsulates a single IP payload.

Processing of inbound IP datagrams MUST support both compressed and non-compressed IP datagrams, in order to meet the non-expansion p...