Stands for "Internetwork Packet Exchange." IPX is a networking protocol originally used by the Novell NetWare operating system and later adopted by Windows. IPX was introduced in the 1980s and remained popular through the 1990s. Since then, it has largely been replaced by the standard TCP/IP protocol.

IPX is the network layer of the IPX/SPX protocol and SPX is the transport layer. IPX has a similar function to the IP protocol and defines how data is sent and received between systems. The SPX protocol is used to establish and maintain a connection between devices. Together, the two protocols can be used to create a network connection and transfer data between systems.

IPX is connectionless, meaning it does not require a consistent connection to be maintained while packets are being sent from one system to another. It can resume the transfer where it left off when a connection is temporarily dropped. IPX only loads when a network connection is attempted, so it does not take up unnecessary resources.

NOTE: In the 1990s, popular video games like Quake, Descent, and WarCraft 2 supported IPX for network gaming. A service like Kali could be used to emulate an IPX connection over the Internet, enabling Internet gaming. Now most video games use TCP/IP or their own proprietary protocols to enable gamers to play online.

Updated March 5, 2016 by Per C.

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