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TCP / IP Protocol: What is it, what is it for and how does it work in computing?

IPv4 Protocol: What is it and how does this version of the protocol work in computing?

TCP / IP protocols are one of the most famous, and new alternatives are being sought every day to improve them. Its concept is a bit complicated , but today we will explain with simple words what it is.

In this post you will find all the necessary information so that you can understand how this protocol works. Recall that the purpose of Internet protocols is to boost communication in computing .

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

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

Historia del TCP ¿Cómo se originó y quiénes crearon este revolucionario sistema?

Before we begin to see what the TCP / IP protocol is about , we should know a little about its history. It began in the early 60s, when several researchers were looking for ways to share different computing resources in a more efficient way and without so many conflicts.

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 packages will be divided for better receptivity.

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

As his fame grew, other competition protocols were created. However, this is the one that uses the least network resources , 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?

¿Qué es el protocolo de control de transmisiones (TCP) y para qué sirve en Internet?

Since we know a little about its history, we will explain what this wonderful protocol is about, which is one of those that is 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 a better data transmission , where it allows us to exchange any data or information in a secure way and without them being altered.

This protocol uses a 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 are based and use this protocol for 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, such as broadcasting or multicasting.

In most cases, only one different IP address is assigned to each device (at the same time), in order to identify them.

What is an IP address?

Thanks to innovations and technological advances, today we have two types of IP addresses . They certainly present somewhat different characteristics. But the network identifier is common in both, whose function within the protocol is to find the right path in IP routing; and a device identifier, that 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 features of these types of IP addresses:


It is the most used today, because it is the one that is by default in most systems. It is formed by 32 bits , which if we see it from a technical point of view, it is a 32-digit binary code, that can have a form similar to this:

  • 11000000 10101000 10110010 00011111

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



This is the Internet protocol of the future. Although for now there are still many systems that do not even take it into account, it will not take long to be the one that replaces 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 in the as follows : «:: ffff: c0a8: b21f»

Although really expresses itself like this: 0000: 0000: 0000: 0000: 0000: ffff: c0a8: b21f

It predicts its great momentum because this protocol allows faster behavior than the previous one, achieving better communication.

IP relationship with 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 do not distort and do not change anything of the original message l. It is related because TCP is basically the one in charge 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?

TCP / IP models are made up of different services that assemble 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 responsible for different activities, being named as follows:

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

The main function of all these together, is isolate the common components of the software system in levels. 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 rather to boost 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 mode greater and smaller than this one, so that it can be processed. These can also be known as data blocks, which decode the message by translating it and evaluating its behavior .

But in order not to alter the messages, the message data is completely ignored, which is called encapsulation, because each level adds an information capsule based on the original data:

  • Application

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

Each of these layers is hierarchized, and each of them is assigned a number depending on the service it offers and its functions, in this way it is ordered and delimits each layer to different activities and unique.

They are divided as follows:

  • Layer 5 (application layer): is those responsible for assimilating the session (5), presentation (6) and application (7) layers, whose model is OR IF. The application layer should include the details of the OSI session and presentation layers, to work together.
  • Layer 4 (transport layer): 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): 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): is the physical layer, paramount to all, 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 features more than the basic one. We must understand that TCP / IP is the main protocol and therefore there are a lot of modifications and even protocols already assimilated as their progress.

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 for offer a speedy call binding, avoiding congestion.
  • CUBIC TCP: It uses a congestion control algorithm, which is optimized for high latency bandwidth, mostly used when there are long networks and thick.
  • P-TCP: This protocol has practically the same characteristics of 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 part of sending information.
    • F ast TCP: It is made up of congestion control algorithms, designed with the purpose of preventing a collapse in the exchange of information, as well as between Its qualities are the increase in the speed of data transfer on the Internet, without the messages being modified.

    If you do a deeper search you will find another totally different list, because when we talk about improving computer science, they take it to heart and are always innovating.

    OSI model vs TCP / IP Which is better and how they differ ?

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

    OSI Model

    • It has a more general architecture and is useful for establishing communications between computers .
    • It was officially adopted in 1984 as an ISO standard.
    • 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 offer a service in connection.
    • Like the TCP / IP model, it has a packet switching technology to arrive without being altered, but quickly.

    TCP / IP model

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