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EtherNet/IP (Ethernet Industrial Protocol) is a communications protocol originally developed by Rockwell Automation, currently managed by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) and designed for use in process control and other industrial automation applications.


EtherNet/IP is an application layer protocol similar to SNMP, treating devices on the network as a series of "objects". It is an implementation of the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) over TCP/IP, compatible with ControlNet (CIP over a dedicated network) and DeviceNet (CIP over CAN bus) control systems.

EtherNet/IP uses Ethernet physical layer network infrastructure. It is built on the TCP/IP protocols, but the "IP" in EtherNet/IP stands for "Industrial Protocol." It is not an abbreviation for "Internet Protocol".

EtherNet/IP can be used in automation networks which can tolerate some amount of non-determinism. This is because Ethernet physical media might not have deterministic delays.

EtherNet/IP can be easily confused as a simple combination of Ethernet and the Internet Protocol. Instead, it is an industrial application layer protocol used for communication between industrial control systems and their components, such as a programmable automation controller, programmable logic controller or an I/O system.


EtherNet/IP was developed in the late 1990s by Rockwell Automation as part of Rockwell's industrial Ethernet networking solutions. Rockwell gave EtherNet/IP its moniker and handed it over to ODVA, which now manages the protocol and assures multi-vendor system interoperability by requiring adherence to established standards whenever new products that utilize the protocol are developed today.

EtherNet/IP is most commonly used in industrial automation control systems, such as for water processing plants, manufacturing facilities and utilities. Several control system vendors have developed programmable automation controllers and I/O capable of communicating via EtherNet/IP, including Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley), HARTING, Phoenix Contact, Opto 22, WAGO Corporation, Yaskawa, Keyence,[1] Omron, Schneider Electric and Molex.


EtherNet/IP classifies Ethernet nodes as predefined device types with specific behaviors. Among other things, this enables:

  • Transfer of basic I/O data via User Datagram Protocol (UDP)-based implicit messaging
  • Uploading and downloading of parameters, setpoints, programs and recipes via TCP (i.e., explicit messaging.)
  • Polled, cyclic and change-of-state monitoring via UDP, such as RPI and COS in Allen Bradley's ControlLogix control systems.
  • One-to-one (unicast), one-to-many (multicast), and one-to-all (broadcast) communication via IP.
  • EtherNet/IP makes use of well known TCP port number 44818 for explicit messaging and UDP port number 2222 for implicit messaging

The EtherNet/IP application layer protocol is based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) standard used in DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet.

EtherNet/IP was promoted as an open technology, so it was suggested to publish the Level 2 source codes via However, in lieu of this, freeware source code was available to be downloaded from ODVA's website. At this point[when?] the ODVA requires that users be registered which means that a vendor ID is required and the code and the standard can no longer be considered free.


On February 14, 2012, security researchers from Project Basecamp released Metasploit exploits targeting a flaw in the implementation of the EtherNet/IP (Industrial Protocol). The security hole, if left unaddressed, could enable a remote attacker to crash or unexpectedly reboot the devices, which are critical components of almost every industrial and critical infrastructure installation.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Communication/ Network Unit". Retrieved 2013-12-11. 

External links[edit]