What is the TCP / IP protocol, what is it for and how does it work?

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Craig Zacker
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In all areas of the human being it is necessary to establish communication through an appreciable medium such as the Internet. For this to happen, they must be present protocols  TCP / IP to facilitate the transfer of data. Having said the above, today we will talk about what the TCP / IP protocol is.

Although the Internet has been famous relatively recently, the truth is that its history is very ancient, in fact, we recommend that you learn what Arpanet is and what it is for, to more closely denote what we are talking about. In turn, TCP / IP and other protocols similar are extremely important to networks as we know them today.



What is the TCP / IP protocol, what is it for and how does it work?

Of all the networks known in the history of computing, the Internet remains the most popular due to its breadth and usefulness. The network of networks uses an infrastructure and the TCP / IP protocol which acts as a primary model for the exchange of data present in the different types of computer networks.

What is the TCP / IP protocol?

TCP / IP is a set of protocols which are condensed as one and govern the Internet. TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and IP stands for Internet Protocol.

In this sense, TCP / IP is a set of standard protocols that make it possible to establish a connection and exchange data through reliable transport. It comes as a template that defines the instructions that must be followed by the data that is sent in packets until it reaches its destination.


The TCP / IP protocol uses a layer-based system that allows for communication to send packets between level and level. If there is a communication from a lower to a higher level, then there is a sending of data; If, on the other hand, the communication takes place from a higher to a lower level, then there is a request for services.


What is the TCP / IP protocol used for?

The TCP / IP protocol is used to make one reliable exchange of data in networks that use computers. This model acts as a director that defines the steps to be followed by each component of the network through the hierarchies.

While TCP issues the order for packet transfer, the IP takes care of transporting data to other computers on the network. For this reason, TCP / IP is essential for communication between a computer and the Internet to take place.

How does the TCP / IP protocol work?

First, the TCP connection sends data broken down into segments. Each of them has the destination and the data section located in the header. Therefore TCP reorders segments appropriately until they reach their destination. For its part, IP is responsible for the delivery of the data.

It is important to note that TCP applies error checking so that the segments arrive correctly. It works through a model similar to the OSI model.

This model classifies the rest of the protocols involved in the network. These protocols act as different layers required for data exchange. These layers are mentioned below:


  1. Media access level (network link level): the media access layer includes all computers that make up a local area network (LAN). Here you define the network topology and how packets will be transported
  2. Internet level: the Level 2 is responsible for basic packet structure, addressing, packaging, and routing of packets.
  3. Transport level: this level establishes the paths in which data will be exchanged between two points. This determines the connection between hosts. Also, in the transport layer, error checking is established through the TCP protocol.
  4. Application level: The protocols (HTTP, FTP, DHCP and SMTP) used by the applications act in the application layer. It is considered as an immediate level for the user as the communication of the programs we interact with takes place through the network.

You have to keep in mind that TCP / IP technology today focuses on the IPv4 protocol and the IPv6 protocol, both of which are essential for the functioning of networks as we know them today.



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