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Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the language a computer uses to access the internet. It consists of a suite of protocols designed to establish a network of networks to provide a host with access to the internet.
TCP/IP is responsible for full-fledged data connectivity and transmitting the data end to end by providing other functions, including addressing, mapping and acknowledgment. TCP/IP contains four layers, which differ slightly from the OSI model.
The technology is so common that one would rarely use the full name. In other words, in common usage the acronym is now the term itself.
Nearly all computers today support TCP/IP. TCP/IP is not a single networking protocol – it is a suite of protocols named after the two most important protocols or layers within it – TCP and IP.
As with any form of communication, two things are needed: a message to transmit and the means to reliably transmit the message. The TCP layer handles the message part. The message is broken down into smaller units, called packets, which are then transmitted over the network. The packets are received by the corresponding TCP layer in the receiver and reassembled into the original message.
The IP layer is primarily concerned with the transmission portion. This is done by means of a unique IP address assigned to each and every active recipient on the network.
TCP/IP is considered a stateless protocol suite because each client connection is newly made without regard to whether a previous connection had been established.