I am fairly new to networking but have done manual Linux command line wireless connections and home router configuration.
The internet is full of how-to guides on transferring files between two computers, but what really is the theory behind what happens when two computers are connected via ethernet cable? I have a Windows 10 box and an Ubuntu 14 box, and both are smart enough to detect a connection, and for some reason assign ipv6 addresses to each other. The how-to manuals explain that a cross over cable is needed to transfer files, but I don't understand why that is necessary when I can connect the computers to a designated router, without even plugging into the internet, and access websites served up from either box.
Are there specific programs responsible for automatically detecting the connection? What happens beyond that?
I apologize if I am not being specific enough. I'm hoping for a good whole-picture answer, as so much is taught piece-meal. While I am it, is learning piece-meal just how networking must be learned before the big picture comes into perspective?