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Difference Between OSI Model and TCP/IP Model

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Data communication is a process or act in which we can send or receive data. For data communication two models are available. We will discuss these two models in this article and also see the differences between these two articles.

  • OSI Model
  • TCP/IP Model

OSI Model

OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It has 7 layers Physical layer, Data Link layer, Network layer, Transport layer, Session layer, Presentation layer, and Application layer. Each layer performs its task independently. It was developed in 1984 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

OSI Model

OSI Model


  • Both connection-oriented services and connectionless services are supported.
  • It is quite flexible.
  • All the layers work independently.


  • Setting up a model is a challenging task.
  • Sometimes, it becomes difficult to fit a new protocol into this model.
  • It is only used as a reference model.

TCP/IP Model

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. It has 4 layers named as Physical layer, Network layer, Transport layer, and Application layer.  It also can be used as a communications protocol in a private computer network. It was designed by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in the 1970s.



  • Many Routing protocols are supported.
  • It is highly scalable and uses a client-server architecture.
  • It is lightweight.


  • Little difficult to set up.
  • Delivery of packets is not guaranteed by the transport layer.
  • Vulnerable to a synchronization attack.

Similarities between OSI Model and TCP/IP Model 

OSI and TCP/IP both are logical models. One of the main similarities between the OSI and TCP/IP models is that they both describe how information is transmitted between two devices across a network. Both models define a set of layers. Each layer performs a specific set of functions to enable the transmission of data.

Another similarity between the two models is that they both use the concept of encapsulation, in which data is packaged into a series of headers and trailers that contain information about the data being transmitted and how it should be handled by the network.

For more information, you can refer Similarities between TCP/IP model and the OSI model article.

Differences between OSI Model and TCP/IP Model

ParametersOSI ModelTCP/IP Model
Full FormOSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection.TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.
LayersIt has 7 layers.It has 4 layers.
UsageIt is low in usage.It is mostly used.
ApproachIt is vertically approached.It is horizontally approached.
DeliveryDelivery of the package is guaranteed in OSI Model.Delivery of the package is not guaranteed in TCP/IP Model.
ReplacementReplacement of tools and changes can easily be done in this model.Replacing the tools is not easy as it is in OSI Model.
ReliabilityIt is less reliable than TCP/IP Model.It is more reliable than OSI Model.

OSI Model vs TCP/IP Model : FAQ’s

1: Which layers of OSI are relevant to TCP?

TCP primarily operates in the Transport layer of the OSI model. However, its functioning also involves aspects related to the Network and Data Link layers, as it relies on lower-level protocols and technologies for data delivery.

2: Are OSI and TCP concepts outdated?

The OSI model remains relevant as a fundamental concept for understanding networking, but TCP/IP has become the de facto standard for internet communication. Newer technologies and protocols have emerged, but TCP/IP’s widespread usage makes it a central consideration in modern networking.

3: Can TCP work without OSI?

TCP was designed based on the principles outlined in the OSI model, but it can operate independently of the OSI framework. However, the OSI model provides a conceptual foundation that aids in understanding how TCP and other networking protocols work together.

Last Updated : 28 Aug, 2023
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