Windows Networking Architecture
The Simplified Block Diagram below illustrates the Windows Networking Architecture and the data paths for sending and receiving network packets by a Win32 application on a NDIS miniport (NIC) driver:
As the diagram illustrates, the software path between a Win32 application and a NIC driver is not direct. The path traverses several components including:
All Microsoft-provided networking services as well as a third-party networking products follow the basic path and implementation illustrated in the diagram to access NIC drivers.
Microsoft provides several high-level networking protocols and services as part of each Windows operating system. The Microsoft-provided networking services and protocols include:
Unfortunately, none of the built-in Microsoft-provided networking services provide a mechanism to send or receive "raw" network packets or to perform other NDIS operations on specific NIC drivers.
The next topic on the Tour describes how to develop a solution to this problem.
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