TCP/IP in Computer Networking

TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and IP stands for Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is a suite of protocols used for the communication of devices on a network. The network can be of any type: Internet or personal networks like the intranet, extranet, etc.

The modern developments that we use on the Internet are only possible because of the TCP/IP suite. Although the name suggests only two protocols, it contains other protocols in it. Let us look at the functioning of this suite in detail.

Working of TCP/IP

In simple terms, TCP takes care of how data is transferred in a network.

  • It breaks down the data into smaller packets that can be shared across a network effectively.

  • At the receiver's end, TCP helps to arrange the data packets into a specific order to convey the initial information transferred through the web.

  • To share the data packets, we should have a particular address. Each connection will have a specific IP address. It helps the transmitter to know the destination.

  • The IP address consists of two addresses: of the receiver and the sender. The subnet mask divides and helps to identify the two addresses from one another.

Layers of TCP/IP

Following are the layers of TCP/IP −

  • Application Layer − It consists of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). It is called the application layer because it consists of application data.

  • Transport Layer − The transfer of data is done in this layer. It is responsible for maintaining the communication between the sender and receiver. TCP or UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is used for this purpose.

  • Network Layer − It consists of IP and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). IP takes care of the destination and host addresses and makes sure the connection is maintained. ICMP reports errors in case the connection is not proper.

  • Physical Layer − The protocol in this layer works in the link between different devices in the network. It includes Protocol for Ethernet and Address Resolution Protocol.

Advantages of using TCP/IP

Following are the advantages of using TCP/IP −

  • It is used in many varieties of fields even after three to four decades after its introduction.

  • It helps to communicate between heterogeneous networks (i.e., networks with many differences like that in protocols, etc.)

  • It follows a client-server architecture. Therefore, more devices can be added or removed easily because of its scalability.

  • It helps to identify each device on the network via IP address, giving better security to the network. If any device makes any illegal actions, it is easier to identify the device using the IP address.

Disadvantages of using TCP/IP

Following are the disadvantages of using TCP/IP −

  • It cannot represent other protocols than in TCP/IP suite like those used in Bluetooth connection.

  • The boundary between the concepts of services, interfaces, protocols is blurry.