What is PPP?
Recall that HDLC is the default serial encapsulation method when you connect two Cisco routers. With an added protocol type field, the Cisco version of HDLC is proprietary. Thus, Cisco HDLC can only work with other Cisco devices. However, when you need to connect to a non-Cisco router, you should use PPP encapsulation.
PPP encapsulation has been carefully designed to retain compatibility with most commonly used supporting hardware. PPP encapsulates data frames for transmission over Layer 2 physical links. PPP establishes a direct connection using serial cables, phone lines, trunk lines, cellular telephones, specialized radio links, or fiber-optic links. There are many advantages to using PPP, including the fact that it is not proprietary. Moreover, it includes many features not available in HDLC:
The link quality management feature monitors the quality of the link. If too many errors are detected, PPP takes the link down.
PPP supports PAP and CHAP authentication. This feature is explained and practiced in a later section.
PPP contains three main components:
HDLC protocol for encapsulating datagrams over point-to-point links.
Extensible Link Control Protocol (LCP) to establish, configure, and test the data link connection.
Family of Network Control Protocols (NCPs) for establishing and configuring different network layer protocols. PPP allows the simultaneous use of multiple network layer protocols. Some of the more common NCPs are Internet Protocol Control Protocol, Appletalk Control Protocol, Novell IPX Control Protocol, Cisco Systems Control Protocol, SNA Control Protocol, and Compression Control Protocol.