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Introduction to TCP/IP

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol and it is a communication standard that defines how data travels on the internet and how network/communication devices communication with each other. TCP and IP were developed by a department of defense (DOD) in a research project to connect the number of networks by different vendors to form a big network of networks (The Internet).

It was originally successfully because of the services it gave, which everyone wanted to use such as file transfer, electronic mail, remote logon across a very large number of clients and server system. Several computers in a small network can use TCP/IP to communicate with each other. The IP component of the TCP/IP suites provides the routing between the two locally or remote computers.

IP forwards each packet based on a four byte, 32 bits address. TCP is responsible for verifying the correct delivery of data from the client to server. TCP also supports to detect the errors in the transmission and also triggers the data to retransmit correctly.TCP/IP helps in transferring the data on the network and on the internet. Each network operating systems that have their own protocols must support TCP/IP too. All the computers in a network must follow the rules to communication with each other.

Inside the TCP/IP

TCP/IP is a not a single protocol but it is a suite of the protocols. There are the numerous protocols in the TCP/IP suite such as TCP, UDP, ICMP, DHCP, IMAP, HTTP, HTTPS, SSL, SMTP and many others.

Internet Protocol is a connectionless protocol that is used to communicate between the two computers. IP does not occupy the communication line between the two computers. With the IP communication, data is broken into the smaller pieces called packets, and these packets communicate between the two locally or remotely connected devices in a computer network or via internet. IP is also responsible for routing the packets to its destination. Routers are responsible for routing the packets towards its destination when a computer sends packets to an IP router. Data is routed towards its destination is all by a router. Router works as a post office.


The TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol) work together in which TCP takes care communication between the application software i.e browsers whereas IP takes care of the communication between the computers. TCP breaks the data into smaller packets before they can be sent and IP sends the packets to the receivers.

IP Addresses

Each computer in a network or on internet must have a unique IP address before it can communicate with the other computer. The packets must have the address of the destination computers or devices. Each IP address is composed of 32 bits and 4 octets each packet must have an address before it can be sent to another computer.

This is an IP address and this website might have mapped with the same IP address. Without a unique IP address the communication on the internet is impossible. The numbers in the address must range between 0 and 255 in four period separated portions. Each IP address consists of 32 bits and 32 bits are consisting of 4 bytes. A computer byte can contain 256 different values e.g 00000000, 00100010, 00000111, 11111000, 01010101, 001100110 and up to 11111111.

Domain Names

Domain names are the unique identifier of a website because 12 digits numbers are difficult to remember. The name used for the web address is called a domain name e.g,, all are domain names and comparatively are easy to remember instead of 12 digits numbers like,, and When you type a domain name in your web browser the domain name is translated into IP address by the DNS server, which is managed by your local ISPs or your corporate DNS servers.

All over the world a larger number of the DNS servers are connected with each other some are primary DNS servers, secondary DNS servers, Master DNS servers and Root DNS servers. When a new domain is registered by a domain registrar with associated TCP/IP address then DNS servers from all over the world are updated.
TCP/IP is a large collection of the different communication protocols.

A Family of Protocols

TCP/IP is a large collection of different communication protocols based upon the two original protocols TCP and IP. Each protocol in the TCP/IP suite is responsible for the different communication tasks. HTTP is responsible for the communication between the web server and the web browser. It sends requests from the client (browser) to web server and returning the web pages to the client.

HTTPS is responsible for the secure communication between the web browser and the web server. HTTPS usually handles the credit card transactions and other sensitive and secure data. SSL is responsible for the encryption of the data for the secure communication. SMTP (Simple mail transfer protocol) is responsible for sending the emails. MIME (Multi purpose Internet mail extension) is responsible for communicating the multimedia data such as, voice, video, graphics etc. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is responsible for storing and retrieving the emails.

POP (post office protocol) is used for downloading the emails from the email server to the personal computer. FTP (File transfer protocol) it takes cares of transferring the files between the computers. NTP (Network time protocol) is used to synchronize the time between the networks. DHCP (Dynamic host configuration protocol) is responsible for assigning the IP address dynamically to the network computers. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is used for administration of a computer network.

LDAP (Light weight directory access protocol) is used for storing the names and email addresses on the internet and also communicating with the Active directory in computer network. ARP (Address resolution protocol) is used to find the hardware address of a computer based on the IP address. Boot P protocol is used for starting computers in a network. PPTP (Point to point tunneling protocol) is used to make a secure tunnel in the private networks such as VPN.

TCP/IP is the Internet Communication Protocol.

A protocol is a set of rules, agreed upon methods or a communication language, which both computers understand and agree upon. TCP/IP defines the rules to communicate over the internet. Internet browsers and Internet servers uses TCP/IP to communicate on the internet Web browsers, Web servers, Email programs and internet address all follow TCP/IP. An IP address is a part of the TCP/IP protocols.