TCP / IP protocol  What is it and how does it work? ▷ 2020

TCP / IP protocols are one of the most famous, and new alternatives are being sought to improve them every day. Your concept It’s a little bit complicated, but today we are going to explain in simple words what it is about.

In this post you will find all the necessary information so that you can understand how this protocol works. Let’s remember that the purpose of Internet protocols is to promote communication in computing.

TCP has a structure composed of levels and layers, where each one fulfills unique activities so that communication can be effective. In addition, we will also show you what the protocols are most important TCPs.

What is the TCP / IP protocol and what is its function in a computer network?

History of TCP How did this revolutionary system originate and who created it?

Before I start to see what it is the TCP / IP protocol, we must know a little of its history. It began in the early 60s, when several researchers were looking for a way to share different computing resources in a more efficient way and without so much conflict.

It was in 1961 when Leonard kleinrock first introduced the concept of packet switching. This idea was inclined to a concept of inter-system communication, where packets will be split for better responsiveness.

Later, seeing that this innovation proved useful, in 1969 the Agency for Advanced Research Projects, the US Army developed ARPnet together with it, in order to make it more resistant to any attack by the USSR. Due to its good response from the system, it was decided create TCP / IP protocols.

As his fame grew, other competition protocols were created. However, this is the one that uses the least network resources, thus making it much more popular than the others. Years later it was integrated commercially, becoming a standard Internet protocol.

What is the TCP / IP protocol?

What is Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and what is it for on the Internet?

Since we know a little about its history, we will explain what this wonderful protocol is about, which is one of those that are always present when you use the Internet.

As we have seen, it is one of the host protocols in the world, because it is the intermediary to facilitate and carry out better data transmission, where it allows us to exchange any data or information safely and without them being altered.

This protocol use series of four octet numbers (byte), whose decimal format is separated by a decimal point, fulfilling an aspect similar to this:

Other protocols in the world such as applications, such as HTTP and FTP they are based on and use this protocol for their communication.

What is an IP address and what is its role within TCP / IP?

Internet protocols (IP) are those that allow us the proper functioning of the Internet. When we talk about this we can also refer to a group of devices, as is the case of broadcasting or multicasting.

In most cases, you are only assigned one different IP address to each team (at the same time), to be able to identify them.

What is an IP address made of?

Thanks to innovations and technological advances, today we have two types of IP addresses. that certainly present somewhat different characteristics. But the network identifier is common in both, whose function within the protocol is to find the correct path in IP routing; and a device identifier, which is responsible for establishing communication with the device that hosts a particular IP address.

To give you a better idea of ​​what we are talking about, here are the main characteristics of these types of IP addresses:


It is the most used today, because it is the one that is by default in most systems. Is made up of 32 bits, that if we see it from a technical point of view, it is a binary code of 32 digits, which can look like this:

  • 11000000 10101000 10110010 00011111

Although visually represents us in a shorter code like the following:


There is the Internet protocol of the future. Although for now there are still many systems that do not take it into account, it will not take long for it to be the one to replace the previous protocol version.

It consists of 128 bits, which like the previous version is a code. This one a little longer, but visually it shows us the next way: “:: ffff: c0a8: b21f”

Even though it is actually expressed like this: 0000: 0000: 0000: 0000: 0000: ffff: c0a8: b21f

Your big boost because this protocol allows faster behavior than the previous one, achieving better communication.

Relationship of IP to TCP / IP

The IP protocol allows us, as we already mentioned, the transmission of data, and TCP is the one that unifies these packets so that they are not distorted and nothing in the original message changes.l. It is related because TCP is basically the one that takes care of the inventory of the information so that it is maintained while the IP transmits it, so this union is known as TCP / IP.

What are the most important protocols that make up the TCP / IP model?

The TCP / IP models are made up of different services that make up their structure. This distribution is done by levels so that it can be used by the different software. To be a little clearer, this Internet protocol is standardized by the International Organization for Standardization, called ISO.

Such levels are in charge of different activities, denominated in the following way:

  • Application
  • Presentation
  • Session
  • Transport
  • Net
  • Data link
  • Physical

The main function of all these together, is isolate common components of the software system in tiers. Although in reality each of these levels is independent of the rest.

Their tasks are a bit abstract, although following the OSI model, are not designed to be a real model itself, but it is to promote a model that can be the basis of the TCP / IP system.

One of the conditions that allow the architecture to function properly is that each level must have a hierarchy higher and lower than it, so that it can be processed. These can also be known as data blocks, which decode the message translating it and evaluating its behavior.

But to avoid altering the messages, the message data is completely ignored, which is called encapsulation, because each level adds an information capsule based on the original data:


How many and what are the layers of the TCP / IP model?

Each of these layers is hierarchical, and each of them you are assigned a number depending on the service you offer and its functions, in this way each layer is ordered and delimited to different and unique activities.

They are divided as follows:

  • Layer 5 (application layer): It is those that are in charge of assimilating the session (5), presentation (6) and application (7) layers, whose model is OSI. The application layer must include the details of the OSI session and presentation layers, to work together.
  • Layer 4 (transport layer): It is the transport layer, which assimilates almost the entire OSI model, in order to organize the information and take it to its reception.
  • Layer 3 (Internet layer): It is the network layer, where the OSI model is followed.
  • Layer 2 (media access layer): This layer is what allows the link between the data.
  • Layer 1 (media access layer): It is the physical layer, first and foremost, that follows the OSI model.

What are the main alternatives to TCP / IP in computer networks?

Specifically, there is no alternative to TCP / IP, but there are different improvements that offer us some more features than the basic one. We must understand that TCP / IP is the main protocol and therefore there are a large number of modifications and even protocols already assimilated as the advancement of these.

Such protocols are known as follows:

  • BIC TCP: This is a protocol that uses congestion control algorithms, which allows us to use the transmission control protocol (TCP), where the BIC is the one that optimizes to offer a high speed in calls, avoiding congestion.
  • CUBIC TCP: It uses a congestion control algorithm, which is optimized for high latency bandwidth, mostly used when there are long and thick networks.
  • P-TCP: This protocol has practically the same characteristics of the basic TCP, and the truth is that it is only an improvement with inclination in P.
  • S-TCP: Like the previous protocol, its main base is TCP / IP, although with a few modifications in the information sending part.
  • Fast TCP: It is made up of congestion control algorithms, designed in order to avoid a collapse in the exchange of information, and among its qualities is the increase in data transfer speed on the Internet, without the messages being modified.

If you carry out a deeper search, you will find a totally different list, since when we talk about improving computer science they take it very seriously and are always innovating.

OSI vs TCP / IP model, which is better and how are they different?

OSI models have slightly different characteristics to those of the TCP / IP models. Next, we will show you some differences, and you will decide which one is the best:

OSI model

  • It has a more general architecture and It is useful for establishing communications between computers.
  • It was officially adopted in 1984 as a standard by ISO.
  • It has seven layers or levels for its proper functioning.
  • It has a high protocol definition.
  • It is somewhat complex, since its concept focuses on offering a connected service.
  • Like the TCP / IP model, it has a packet switching technology so that they arrive without being altered, but quickly.

TCP / IP model

  • Its architecture is simpler than that of the previous model, and this is because has a smaller number of layers.
  • All protocol standards are open.
  • Combine presentation and session layers for better application.
  • Combine different layers to improve information processing.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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