AppleTalk was a proprietary suite of networking protocols developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh computers. AppleTalk includes a number of features that allow local area networks to be connected with no prior setup or the need for a centralized router or server of any sort. Connected AppleTalk-equipped systems automatically assign addresses, update the distributed namespace, and configure any required inter-networking routing. It is a plug-n-play system.
AppleTalk was released in 1985, and was the primary protocol used by Apple devices through the 1980s and 1990s. Versions were also released for the IBM PC and compatibles and the Apple IIGS. AppleTalk support was also available in most networked printers (especially laser printers), some file servers, and a number of routers.
The rise of TCP/IP during the 1990s led to a reimplementation of most of these types of support on that protocol, and AppleTalk became unsupported as of the release of Mac OS X v10.6 in 2009. Many of AppleTalk's more advanced autoconfiguration features have since been introduced in Bonjour, while Universal Plug and Play serves similar needs....LESS