TCP

February 12, 2021
TCP is an acronym for Transmission Control Protocol. TCP denotes a set of standardized rules for data exchange between different devices in a network. Despite being created in 1973, it took 8 years to finalize the standardization. The protocol is common in IP powered connections and sometimes called TCP/IP.

TCP and IP are different in the sense that the IP’s main role is to find the address that the data will be delivered into, while TCP is the channel through which the message is transported.

TCP Features

  • Connection-oriented
  • Open-source
  • Ensures the delivery of data to intended destination as it is
  • Provides quality of service and flow control
  • It operates in a Client/Server point-to-point mode
  • It can perform both sending and receiving roles
  • Error checking and recovery mechanism are embedded into the protocol
  • End-to-end communication is supported

How It Works

What makes TCP/IP protocol reliable is it’s a simple working mechanism. With TCP, information flows in both directions, meaning that devices in a network can send and receive messages simultaneously. Packets/Segments are the units of data transmission in this protocol. These packets contain control information and have a limit of 1500 bytes.

Operating systems have access to TCP software that exist in the network protocol suite, and are responsible for controlling data transfer, and also establishing/terminating end-to-end connections.

Various applications such as web browsers or servers have control over the TCP software, by using specific interfaces. A connection is identified as either client or server. The TCP software’s main task is therefore to provide a clearly defined connection made up of a port and an IP address for each endpoint.

TCP/IP also divides different communication tasks into four layers including datalink, internet layer, transport layer, and application layer. To send the packet, it goes through these layers and goes through them in reverse to decode the message. The purpose of the layers is to facilitate standardization.

TCP Applications and Use Cases

A lot of applications use transport’s layer protocol TCP. Some applications and use cases offered by TCP include:

  • Support many routing protocols
  • Establishment of different computer connections
  • Facilitates internetworking between organizations
  • Independent operation in the operating system
  • Media streaming
  • Tunneling/VPN

TCP Importance

TCP comes in handy when establishing how communication is handled on the Internet. It is among the foundations upon which the internet is built, and because of TCP, data transmission is executed flawlessly from anywhere and anytime in the world. Its flexibility and scalability also make it possible to accommodate new standards.

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