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TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the basic
communication language or protocol of the Internet.
TCP is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite (IP)
TCP is a transport layer protocol
TCP/IP is a two-layer program. The higher layer, Transmission Control
Protocol, manages the assembling of a message or file into smaller packets
that are transmitted over the Internet and received by a TCP layer that
reassembles the packets into the original message.
The lower layer, Internet protocol, handles the address part of each packet
so that it gets to the right destination.
Each gateway computer on the network checks this address to see where to
forward the message.
Even though some packets from the same message are routed differently
than others, they'll be reassembled at the destination.
TCP/IP uses the client/server model of communication in which a computer
user requests and is provided a service (such as sending a Web page) by
another computer in the network.

TCP/IP communication is primarily point-to-point, meaning each
communication is from one point in the network to another point or host
TCP provides reliable, ordered and error-checked delivery of a stream
of octets (an octet is a unit of digital information in computing and
telecommunication that consists of 8 bits) between programs running on
computers connected to a LAN, intranet or the public Internet. It resides at
the transport layer
Web browsers use TCP when they connect to servers on the World Wide
Web, and it is used to deliver email and transfer files from one location to
Applications that do not require the reliability of a TCP connection may
instead use the connectionless User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which
emphasizes low-overhead operation and reduced latency rather than error
checking and delivery validation.

TCP/IP Reference Model

Connecting multiple networks in a flawless way


Host-to-network layer
Host has to connect to the network using some
protocol so it can send IP packets to it.
The internet layer
A packet-switching network based on a connectionless internetwork
Its job is to permit hosts to inject packets into any network and have
them travel independently to the destination.
The internet layer defines an official packet format and protocol called
The job of the internet layer is to deliver IP packets where they are
supposed to go. Packet routing is clearly the major issue here,
avoiding congestion

The transport layer

It is designed to examine entries on the source and
destination hosts to carry on a conversion
Two end-to-end protocols have been defined TCP
(reliable, connection oriented protocol, handles flow
control) and UDP (unreliable connectionless protocol, no
sequencing and flow control, applications in which
prompt delivery is more important than accurate delivery)
The application layer
It contains all the higher-level protocols.
File transfer protocol a way to move data efficiently
from one machine to another.
Electronic mail, virtual terminal protocol etc..

Comparison between the OSI and

TCP/IP reference models
Both are based on the concept of a stack of independent protocols
Functionality of the layers is roughly similar
Three concepts are central to the OSI model - Services, interfaces
and protocols
Services - Each layer performs some services for the layer above it.
The service definition tells what the layer does, not how entities
above it access it or how the layer works.
If defines the layers semantics
Interface a layers interface tells the processes above it how to
access it.
It specifies what the parameters are and what results to expect.
It also says nothing about how the layer works inside

Protocols used in a layer are the layers own business. It can use
any protocols it wants to, as long as it gets the job done.
It can also change them at will, without affecting software in higher
OSI model makes such a distinction between these three concepts
but, the TCP/IP model did not clearly distinguish between them.
TCP/IP model is not much of a guide for designing new networks
using new technologies
It is not at all general and is poorly suited to describing any protocol
stack other than TCP/IP
Host- to network layer is not really a layer
It does not distinguish the physical and data link layers
OSI model has proven to be exceptionally useful but
OSI protocols have not become popular
TCP/IP model is practically nonexistent
Data link
Hybrid model as in fig.

Exchanging messages using TCP

The message can contain any type of data
The system must support IP, because TCP and UDP use IP
addresses to identify a messages source and destination
TCP and UDP are standard, well supported protocols for
computers that need to send and receive messages within local
networks or on the Internet



datagram segment
optional required

Name of unit transmitted

Source port specified to remote host
Must establish a connection before transmitting data?
Support error checking?
Support flow control?
Support handshaking?
Support sequence numbering?
Support broadcasting and multicasting?

TCP uses a system of sequence and acknowledgement numbers

that enable the destination to acknowledge receiving specific data
Using sequence numbers, a destination can place received
messages in the order they were sent, even if they were received
out of order
Sequence numbers also enable a destination to detect duplicate
received data
TCP is called a connection-oriented protocol because processes
cant exchange data until they have exchanged communications to
establish a connection with each other.
TCP is called a reliable protocol because the handshaking,
checksum, and sequence and acknowledgement numbers enable
the source to verify that data has arrived at its destination without
A TCP segment consists of a header optionally followed by a data
The source sends one or more segments containing data, and the
destination sends one or more segments to acknowledge receiving
the data.

A single acknowledgement can acknowledge multiple

TCP uses port numbers to identify processes at the source
and destination
Before two processes can send and receive data using TCP,
their computers must establish a connection by performing a
3-way handshake
On competing the handshake, each computer has
acknowledged that the port specified in the handshake is
available to receive communications from the specified port
on the other computer
On receiving a data over an established connection, the
destination responds by returning information about whether
the data arrived without errors or not
To close a connection, each computer send a request to close
the connection and waits for an acknowledgment of the

The TCP Header


No. of


Source port number


The port that is sending the datagram

Destination port no.


The port, the datagram is directed to

Sequence number


Segment identifier

Ack. Number


Identifier of the last received byte

Header length

Length of TCP header in units of 32bits



Control bits

URG-urgent, is valid, PSH-push

the data to application right away , RST-reset
the connection, SYN-synchronization is in
progress, FIN-source has no more data to send



The no. of new bytes the source can accept



Checksum value

Urgent pointer


sequence no. of the last byte of urgent data


0 or

Optional can indicate the max. segment size

the source can handle

Establishing a connection

A TCP connection has two end points, one at the source and one
at the destination.

Each end point is a socket, with a port number and IP address

To complete a connection, two computers must complete a 3-way


Each communication in the handshake contain a TCP header.

Once the connection has been established, either computer can

transmit to the other at any time
The client initiates the handshake by sending a segment
containing an initial sequence number.
The server waits to receive a connection request. On receiving
the segment from the client, the server responds by sending a
segment containing its own initial sequence number and an
acknowledgment no. = the received sequence no. + 1.
The client responds by sending a segment whose sequence no. =
the received ack. no. and the ack. no. = received sequence no. +
The connection is now established

Sending and receiving data

On receiving data, the receiver returns an
acknowledgment number equal to the sequence number
expected in the next segment
Closing a TCP connection also requires a 3-way
Supporting TCP in an embedded system is more
complicated than supporting UDP.
In addition to adding and removing headers and
supporting IP, the computer must perform the 3-way
handshake to connect to a remote host, maintain
sequence and acknowledge numbers when exchanging
data, handshake when closing a connection and respond
to detected errors.

Closing a connection
Closing a connection also requires a handshaking

To close a connection completely, each computer sends

a segment with the FIN control bit set to 1
To indicate that the computer has no more data to send
Each destination must acknowledge receiving the FIN.

To send a message using TCP, a computer in

an Ethernet network must do the following:
Establish a connection using 3-way handshake
Use the received window size to determine how much data the
remote computer can accept
Place the source and destination port numbers, seq., ack. no.,
header length, source window size and check sum in the
appropriate locations in the TCP header.
Place the data to be sent in the data portion of the segment
Place the TCP segment in the data portion of an IP datagram.
Pass the IP datagram to the Ethernet controllers driver for sending
on the network and start a timeout timer
Wait to receive an ack. no. that indicates that the remote computer
received the data
If ack. doesnt arrive before the timeout, resend the segment

To receive a datagram using TCP, a computer in an Ethernet

network must do the following:
Establish a connection using 3-way handshake
Receive an IP datagram from the Ethernet controllers driver
Strip the IP header from the datagram. Calculate the checksum and
compare with the received value
If the checksum match, strip the header from the TCP segment.
Calculate the checksum and compare it to the received value
Examine the received ack. no. to find out if the segment is
acknowledging receipt of previously sent data and if so, delete the
ack. data from the retransmission queue
Compare the received sequence no. to the expected value. If the
numbers match, set the ack. no. to return to the sender in a TCP
Use destination port number to decide where to pass the data

In addition, at any time, either computer may request to close or reset the
connection and the other computer should ack. the request and may
request to close or reset the connection from the other end