The Internet protocol suite, which is commonly known as TCP/IP, is the networking model and underlying communication protocol that powers the Internet.
The basic networking model and communication protocol that serves as the basis for communication across the Internet is called the Internet protocol suite, and is commonly know as TCP/IP.
- TCP is an acronym for Transmission Control Protocol. TCP is a protocol that defines how information should be packetized and ordered in preparation for transmission across the Internet.
- IP is an acronym for Internet Protocol. IP is the protocol that defines a way of addressing every host connected to the Iternet, and ensures that the data packets created by TCP make it to the proper destination.
Whether you realize it or not, you're using TCP/IP right now as you interact with Learn the Net. Websites like Learn the Net are transmitted over an application communication protocol known as HTTP, which is one of the many application communication protocols developed to make use of TCP/IP-based networks.
The World Wide Web (HTTP) isn't the only service powered by TCP/IP. A variety of Internet application protocols communicate using TCP/IP, including the protocols that power e-mail (POP, IMAP, SMTP), file transfer applications (FTP), instant messaging, and much, much more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is TCP/IP used for any networks other than the Internet?
TCP/IP can be used for any Wide Area Network (WAN) or Local Area Network (LAN). While the Internet is the most well-known implementation of TCP/IP by a large margin, TCP/IP can be used as the communication model for any network, and many Intranets and other LANs and WANs use TCP/IP.
Where did TCP/IP come from?
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense, funded the development of TCP/IP in the mid 1970s as a collaborative project between research groups at BBN Technologies, Stanford University, and the University College London. Between the mid-1970s and early 1980s, a number of TCP/IP tests were conducted resulting in further development of the communication protocol suite, which culminated in the migration of ARPANET to TCP/IP in 1983.
Do all Internet applications use TCP/IP?
TCP is used anytime it is critical that data arrive at its destination in perfect condition, intact, and complete. However, there are applications where delays in delivery are more problematic than the loss of a packet or two of data. For example, video chat applications often use User Datagram Protocol (UDP), a protocol well-suited to real-time applications, but one that does not guarantee lossless transmission of data.