Transmission Control Protocol
TCP is the acronym for Transmission Control Protocol.
A widely used transport protocol within the Internet Protocol Suite. TCP provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of data packets over IP networks.
TCP operates at a higher layer than IP and is responsible for establishing and maintaining connections between devices and ensuring the reliable delivery of data. Here are some key features and characteristics of TCP:
- Reliable Delivery: TCP guarantees the reliable delivery of data packets. It achieves this through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of received packets, retransmitting lost packets, and flow control to manage the data transmission rate.
- Connection-Oriented: TCP establishes a connection between the sender and receiver before data exchange. This connection is known as a TCP session or TCP connection. The three-way handshake process (SYN, SYN-ACK, ACK) establishes the connection.
- Ordered Data Delivery: TCP ensures that data packets are delivered to the receiving application in the same order they were sent. This is achieved through sequence numbers assigned to each packet, allowing the receiving end to reassemble the packets in the correct order.
- Flow Control: TCP uses a sliding window flow control mechanism to manage the data transmission rate. It prevents overwhelming the receiver with data by dynamically adjusting the amount of data sent based on available buffer space at the receiver.
- Congestion Control: TCP includes congestion control mechanisms to avoid network congestion. It uses various algorithms to detect and respond to network congestion, adjusting the transmission rate to prevent congestion and ensure fair sharing of network resources.
TCP is widely used for various applications, including web browsing, email, file transfer, remote access, and many others that require reliable and ordered delivery of data. It provides a robust and efficient means of communication over IP networks.
While TCP offers reliable delivery, it introduces additional overhead compared to connectionless protocols like UDP. The reliability and additional features provided by TCP make it suitable for applications where data integrity and ordered delivery are critical, but it may have slightly higher latency compared to UDP due to its connection-oriented nature.
- Abbreviation: TCP