Introduction to TCP/IP
TCP/IP is the communication protocol for the Internet.
Computer Communication Protocol
A computer communication protocol is a description of the rules computers
must follow to communicate with each other.
What is TCP/IP?
TCP/IP is the communication protocol for
communication between computers on the Internet.
TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol / Internet
TCP/IP defines how electronic devices (like computers) should be
connected to the Internet, and how data should be transmitted between them.
Inside the TCP/IP standard there are several protocols for handling
- TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) communication between applications
- UDP (User Datagram Protocol) simple communication between applications
- IP (Internet Protocol) communication between computers
- ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) for errors and statistics
- DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) for dynamic addressing
TCP Uses a Fixed Connection
TCP is for communication between applications.
If one application wants to communicate with another via TCP, it
sends a communication request. This request must be sent to an exact
address. After a "handshake" between the two applications, TCP will set up a
"full-duplex" communication between the two applications.
The "full-duplex" communication will occupy the communication line between
the two computers until it is closed by one of the two applications.
UDP is very similar to TCP, but simpler and less reliable.
IP is Connection-Less
IP is for communication between computers.
IP is a "connection-less" communication protocol.
IP does not occupy the
communication line between two computers. IP reduces the
need for network lines. Each line can be used for communication between many
different computers at the same time.
With IP, messages (or other data) are broken up into small independent
"packets" and sent between computers via the Internet.
IP is responsible for "routing" each packet to the correct destination.
When an IP packet is sent from a computer, it arrives at an IP router.
The IP router is responsible for "routing" the packet to the
directly or via another router.
The path the packet will follow might be different from other packets of the
same communication. The router is responsible for the right addressing, depending
on traffic volume, errors in the network, or other parameters.
Communicating via IP is like sending a long letter as a large number of
small postcards, each finding its own (often different) way to the receiver.
TCP/IP is TCP and IP working together.
TCP takes care of the communication between your application software (i.e.
your browser) and your network software.
IP takes care of the communication with other computers.
TCP is responsible for breaking data down into IP packets before they are
sent, and for assembling the packets when they arrive.
IP is responsible for sending the packets to the correct destination.
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