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TCP/IP in Computer Networking

Last Updated : 02 Apr, 2023
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Introduction :

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is a suite of communication protocols that define the standards for transmitting data over computer networks, including the internet. The TCP/IP protocol is the foundation of the internet and enables devices to communicate with each other using a common language.

The TCP/IP protocol is divided into two layers: the Transport layer and the Internet layer. The Transport layer is responsible for ensuring that data is transmitted reliably from one device to another. This layer is comprised of two protocols: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). TCP is used for reliable data transmission, while UDP is used for fast transmission of data that can tolerate some packet loss.

The Internet layer is responsible for transmitting data packets between devices. This layer is comprised of two protocols: the Internet Protocol (IP) and the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). IP is responsible for routing data packets between devices, while ARP is used to map IP addresses to physical addresses.

TCP/IP also includes a number of application layer protocols that are used to provide services to end-users. These include protocols such as HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) for web browsing, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for file transfer, and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for email.

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol. It is a set of conventions or rules and methods that are used to interconnect network devices on the Internet. The internet protocol suite is commonly known as TCP/IP, as the foundational protocols in the suite are Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol. It chooses how the information will be traded over the web through end-to-end communications that incorporate how the information ought to be organized into bundles (bundles of data), addressed, sent, and received at the goal. This communication protocol can also be utilized to interconnect organize devices in a private network such as an intranet or an extranet.

History of TCP/IP:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Office (DARPA), the investigation department of the U.S. Department of Defense, made the TCP/IP shown in the 1970s for utilization in ARPANET, a wide zone organize that gone before the web. TCP/IP was initially planned for the Unix working framework, and it has been built into all of the working frameworks that came after it.

Characteristics of TCP/IP:

  • Share Data Transfer: The TCP allows applications to create channels of communications across a network. It also permits a message to be separated into smaller packets before they are transmitted over the web and after that collected in the right order at the destination address. So, it guarantees the solid transmission of data across the channel.
  • Internet Protocol: The IP address tells the packets the address and route so that they reach the proper destination. It includes a strategy that empowers portal computers on the internet-connected to arrange forward the message after checking the IP address.
  • Reliability: The most vital feature of TCP is solid data delivery. In arrange to supply unwavering quality, TCP must recover information that’s harmed, misplaced, copied, or conveyed out of arranging by the Arrange Layer.
  • Multiplexing: Multiplexing can be achieved through the number of ports.
  • Connections: Before application forms can send information by utilizing TCP, the devices must set up a connection. The associations are made between the harbor numbers of the sender and the collector devices.
  • Compatibility: TCP/IP is designed to be compatible with a wide range of hardware and software platforms. This makes it a versatile protocol suite that can be used in a variety of network environments.
  • Scalability: TCP/IP is highly scalable, which means that it can be used in networks of any size, from small home networks to large enterprise networks.
  • Open standards: TCP/IP is based on open standards, which means that the protocol specifications are publicly available and can be implemented by anyone. This fosters innovation and competition in the networking industry.
  • Modular architecture: TCP/IP is designed with a modular architecture, which means that different protocols can be added or removed as needed. This allows network administrators to tailor their networks to specific needs.
  • Reliability: TCP/IP is designed to be highly reliable, with built-in error checking and correction mechanisms that ensure data is transmitted accurately and reliably.
  • Flexibility: TCP/IP is a flexible protocol suite that can be used for a wide range of applications, including web browsing, email, file sharing, and more.
  • End-to-end connectivity: TCP/IP provides end-to-end connectivity between devices, which means that data can be transmitted directly from the source device to the destination device without being routed through intermediate devices.

TCP/IP Layers

  • Application Layer An application layer is the topmost layer within the TCP/IP model. When one application layer protocol needs to communicate with another application layer, it forwards its information to the transport layer.
  • Transport Layer It is responsible for the reliability, flow control, and correction of data that is being sent over the network. There are two protocols used in this layer are User Datagram Protocol and Transmission control protocol.
  • Internet/Network Layer It is the third layer of the TCP/IP Model and also known as the Network layer. The main responsibility of this layer is to send the packets from any network, and they arrive at the goal irrespective of the route they take.
  • Network Access Layer It is the lowest layer of the TCP/IP Model. It is the combination of the Physical Layer and the Data link layer which present in the OSI Model. Its main responsibility is to the transmission of information over the same network between two devices.

How TCP/ IP works?

  • TCP/IP employs the client-server demonstration of communication in which a client or machine (a client) is given a benefit (like sending a webpage) by another computer (a server) within the network.
  • Collectively, the TCP/IP suite of conventions is classified as stateless, which suggests each client request is considered new since it is irrelevant to past requests. Being stateless liberates up network paths so they can be utilized continuously.
  • The transport layer itself, is stateful. It transmits a single message, and its connection remains open until all the packets in a message have been received and reassembled at the destination.
  • The TCP/IP model differs from the seven-layer Open System Interconnection (OSI) model designed after it.

Application/Uses of TCP/IP

Some Real-Time Applications are:

  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol(SMTP): It helps to send email to another email address.
  • File Transfer Protocol(FTP): It is used for sending large files.
  • Dynamic Host Configure Protocol(DHCP): It assigns the IP address.
  • Telnet: Bi-directional text communication via a terminal application.
  • HyperText Transfer Protocol(HTTP): Used to transfer the web pages.
  • Domain Name System(DNS): It translates the website name to IP addresses.
  • Simple Network Time Protocol(SNTP): It provides the time of a day to the network devices.

Benefits of TCP/IP

  • It is an industry–standard demonstrate that can be viably deployed in commonsense organizing problems.
  • It is interoperable, i.e., it permits cross-platform communications among heterogeneous networks.
  • It is an open convention suite. It isn’t claimed by any specific established and so can be utilized by any individual or organization.
  • It may be versatile, client-server engineering. This permits systems to be included without disturbing the current services.
  • It allots an IP address to each computer on the organize, hence making each device to be identifiable over the arrange. It allots each location a space title. It gives the title and addresses determination administrations.

Challenges of TCP/IP:

  • It is not generic in nature. So, it comes up short to represent any protocol stack other than the TCP/IP suite. For the case, it cannot depict the Bluetooth connection.
  • It does not clearly isolate the concepts of services, interfacing, and protocols. So, it isn’t appropriate to portray unused advances in modern networks.
  • It does not recognize between the data link and the physical layers, which has exceptionally distinctive functionalities.
  • The information interface layer ought to concern with the transmission of outlines. On the other hand, the physical layer ought to lay down the physical characteristics of the transmission.
  • In this, model the transport layer does not guarantee delivery of packets.
  • Security: TCP/IP was originally designed for an open and trusting environment, and as a result, it is not inherently secure. This has led to a range of security challenges, including attacks such as DDoS, man-in-the-middle attacks, and other types of network-based attacks.
  • Complexity: The TCP/IP protocol suite is highly complex, with many different protocols and layers that interact with each other. This complexity can make it difficult to troubleshoot network issues and can increase the likelihood of errors and misconfigurations.
  • Scalability: While TCP/IP is highly scalable, there are limits to its scalability. As networks grow larger and more complex, it can become more difficult to manage and optimize TCP/IP-based networks.
  • Congestion: TCP/IP was not designed with congestion management in mind, which can lead to issues such as network congestion and packet loss. This can result in reduced network performance and reliability.
  • Legacy systems: TCP/IP is based on legacy technology that was designed in the 1970s and 1980s. While the protocol has been updated over the years, it can still struggle to support modern networking needs, such as real-time applications, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things.
  • IPv4 address depletion: The IPv4 address space is limited and has been depleted in many regions, which has led to the widespread adoption of IPv6. However, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has been slow, and many networks still rely on IPv4.


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