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A Connection-Oriented Protocol (COP) is a networking protocol used to establish a data communication session in which endpoint devices use preliminary protocols to establish end-to-end connections and then the subsequent data stream is delivered in sequential transfer mode.
COPs guarantee sequential data delivery but are classed as an unreliable network service because there is no process to ensure that total data received is the same as what was sent.
COPs provide circuit-switched connections or virtual circuit connections in packet-switched networks (PSN).
COPs manage real-time traffic more efficiently than connectionless protocols. Certain COPs accommodate connection-oriented and connectionless data. Because COPs track conversations, they are considered stateful protocols.
COPs use connection identifiers to determine PSN traffic flow, rather than source and destination addresses.
Well-known COPs include: