Posted on September 21, 2013 by KVMGalore   |  0 comments

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet.  It can also be used as a communications protocol in a private network (either an intranet or an extranet). When you are set up with direct access to the Internet, your computer is provided with a copy of the TCP/IP program just as every other computer that you may send messages to or get information from also has a copy of TCP/IP.

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 (a client) requests and is provided a service (such as sending a Web page) by another computer (a server) in the network.  TCP/IP communication is primarily point-to-point, meaning each communication is from one point (or host computer) in the network to another point or host computer.

Many Internet users are familiar with the even higher layer application protocols that use TCP/IP to get to the Internet.  These include the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Telnet (Telnet) which lets you logon to remote computers, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).  These and other protocols are often packaged together with TCP/IP as a "suite".