What Is TCP/IP? Everything You Need to Know

TCP/IP is a communication system for computers. It helps computers communicate with each other and accomplish tasks collectively. TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol and is a set of standardized rules which computers must comply with to communicate over the internet. In this article, we’ll explain how TCP/IP works and everything you need to know to understand it.

Why is TCP/IP Required?

A computer is capable of performing a wide range of jobs, provided it has all the data, programs, and memory built into it. If it doesn’t, TCP/IP is generally of no use. But when a computer must communicate with other computers to process a task, TCP/IP is a must.

The TCP/IP communication protocols instruct computers on how to communicate and exchange information, and when to stop. It also ensures the connection is secure, reliable, and recoverable from any failure.

TCP and IP Are Two Different Things

Even though they’re referred jointly, TCP/IP are two different things. TCP or Transmission Control Protocol provides instructions for computers on how to set up channels for communication.

IP or Internet Protocol ensures the communication happens at the right place and reaches the required destinations. In short, TCP takes care of the matter before data is dispatched, while IP takes care of things afterward.

How Does TCP/IP Work?

TCP/IP was developed for end-to-end computer communication by the U.S. Department of Defense. It adopts the client-server model where the client is the one requesting information, and the server is the one serving that information.

When the request is made, the data is broken up into smaller packets. So instead of sending everything in one go, information is sent out bit by bit. Similarly, the information to be served by the server is broken down in packets. And TCP/IP oversees the entire process.

The suite of protocols that TCP/IP contains is stateless. This means that each request made by the client is considered new and unrelated to the previous and next one. Being stateless frees up the network paths and allows continuous, uninterrupted communication.

TCP/IP divides each communication task into layers, and each layer is responsible for carrying out a particular task. Data is passed through four different layers before the other computer receives it. TCP/IP then parses these layers in reverse order and reassembles the data, after which the data is presented to the recipient. The primary purpose of these layers is to standardize the whole operation and ensure that all computers around the world follow the same procedure for exchanging information.

Types of TCP/IP

There are three common types of TCP/IP. Those are:

  1. HTTP: This stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol and handles the communication between a web server and a web browser.
  2. HTTPS: Stands for Secure HTTP and is the updated, secured version of HTTP.
  3. FTP: FTP is abbreviated for File Transfer Protocol and handles computer-to-computer communication via the internet.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about TCP/IP. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions!

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