What is TCP/IP?

TCP/IP is otherwise known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. These protocols are meant to govern devices on the internet and when devices are within a private network.

TCP/IP specifically dictates how internet communications should be exchanged through packets, transmitted and received. These procedures are meant to make our networks more reliable. Failures when they occur are easy to recover from automatically.

There are two main parts to these protocols. The first is TCP. Transmission Control Protocol defines how communications are assembled and transmitted across networks, and it addresses which order things should be reassembled in.

IP is how we label and reach out to the correct destination.

In the 1970’s, DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) created these procedures for use in the earliest incarnation of the internet. This predecessor was called ARPANET. TCP/IP was made with Unix Operating Systems in mind but it has been a component of every OS ever built since.

Today TCP/IP uses a mode of communication which we refer to as “Client/Server”. The “client” in this instance is a word meant to describe a user or a computer which is provided for. While a different computer which is known as a “server” provides service to the client.

 TCP/IP Functionality

The application layer is what gives applications standards to exchange data back and forth.

  • HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol

  • FTP – File Transfer Protocol

  • POP3 – Post Office Protocol

  • SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

  • SNMP – Simple Network Management Protocol

The transport layer is meant to maintain communications across the whole network.

  • TCP – Transport Control Protocol

  • UDP – User Datagram Protocol

The internet layer/network layer is what connects different networks to allow them to exchange packets back and forth past network boundaries.

  • IP – Internet Protocol

  • ICMP – Internet Control Message Protocol

Lastly, the physical layer is the components in a network.

  • Ethernet

  • LAN – Local Area Networks

  • ARP – Address Resolution Protocol

Final Thoughts

TCP/IP is not controlled by any company or person. It is a compatible with everything and meant to allow us to communicate with every other system. Hardware systems and networks need this common protocol to allow everyone to connect simply and efficiently regardless of type of machine network, etc.

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