What is TCP and How it Works?

What is Transmission Control Protocol and How it Works?

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a network protocol, used in the "transmission of data" over the networks. TCP works together with Internet Protocol in a well-known duo called TCP/IP.
You can see TCP/IP term in the network settings of your devices. Internet Protocol deals with the addressing and forwarding of data packets from source to the destination while TCP manages the reliability of the transmission.

What Does TCP Do?

TCP is to control the transfer of data such that it is authentic. On networks like the Internet, data is transmitted in packets, which are units of data that are sent independently on the network, and are reassembled once they reach the destination to give back the original data.

Transmission of data on a network is done in layers, each protocol on one layer is complementary. This group of layers is called a protocol stack. TCP and IP work together in the protocol stack.

Therefore, TCP is responsible for ensuring reliability during data transmission. Reliable and authentic data transmission is one in which the following requirements are met.
  • All the data packets reach the destination.
  • There are no delays that affect data quality.
  • All data packets are reassembled in order.

How Does TCP Work?

TCP labels its packets so that they are numbered. It also ensures that they have a time limit to reach the destination (which is a period of several hundred milliseconds called time-out) and some other technical provisions. For each packet received, the sending device is notified via a packet called an acknowledgment.

If after the time-out, no acknowledgment is received, the source likely sends another copy of the missing or delayed packet. Out-of-order packets are also not accepted. In this way, all packets are always assembled in order, without holes and within predefined and acceptable delays.

TCP Addressing

While IP has a complete mechanism for addresses known as IP addresses, TCP does not have such a detailed address system. TCP only uses numbers provided by the device it is working on to identify where it is receiving and sending packets for which service.

These numbers are called ports. For example, web browsers use port 80 for TCP. Port 25 is used for email. The port number is often coupled with the IP address for a service, e.g.
What is TCP and How it Works? What is TCP and How it Works? Reviewed by Redbuddy on August 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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