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Normally written "TCP/IP".
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TCP/IP(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The global standard networking protocol. Developed in the 1970s under contract from the U.S. Department of Defense, TCP/IP was invented by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn.
TCP/IP prepares and forwards data packets over private local area and wide area networks (LANs and WANs) as well as the Internet. In fact, the Internet is the world's largest TCP/IP network.
Every form of data rides over TCP/IP with one major exception: the legacy non-Internet telephone networks (see SS7). A huge amount of voice does however use TCP/IP (see VoIP).
Reliable and Unreliable Modes of Delivery
The TCP/IP suite provides two transport methods. TCP is used for packets that must arrive in perfect form such as financial data, and UDP is deployed for real-time applications such as voice and video calling, where there is no time to retransmit erroneous packets.
TCP/IP Is a Routable Protocol
TCP/IP is commonly referred to as just "IP," because the IP part of the protocol routes packets from one network to another within an organization or over the Internet (see illustration below).
An IP packet contains source and destination addresses of both the host computers and the networks they reside in. The terms "TCP/IP network" and "IP network" are synonymous.
The IP Address Identifies Everything
Every node in a TCP/IP network requires an IP address (an "IP") which is either permanently assigned or dynamically assigned (see IP address and DHCP). For an explanation of the TCP/IP layers, see TCP/IP abc's and OSI model. For a conceptual picture, see communications protocol. See protocol stack, TCP/IP port, DNS and IP on Everything.
|The TCP/IP Stack|
|The TCP or UDP transport layer 4 sends packets to IP network layer 3, which adds its own header and delivers a "datagram" to a data link layer 2 protocol such as Ethernet, ATM or SONET. See datagram.|
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