An abbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, an industry-standard protocol suite for wide area networks (WANs) developed in the 1970s and 1980s by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). TCP/IP is a routable protocol that is suitable for connecting dissimilar systems (such as Microsoft Windows and UNIX) in heterogeneous networks, and it is the protocol of the worldwide network known as the Internet. Microsoft’s implementation of TCP/IP supports industry standards, and TCP/IP is implemented for all Windows operating systems.
Graphic T-4. TCP/IP.
The architecture of the TCP/IP protocol suite has four layers that map loosely to the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model (as shown in the diagram). The TCP/IP model is sometimes called the DoD model because TCP/IP was developed in connection with the ARPANET project of the U.S. Department of Defense. Each layer of the TCP/IP protocol suite has its associated component protocols, the most important of which are listed here:
TCP/IP uses two naming schemes to identify hosts and networks on an internetwork:
TCP/IP is a constantly evolving protocol suite whose development is steered by such bodies as the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The current version of TCP/IP is called IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4); a new version called IPv6 is under development.
To learn more about TCP/IP get The Illustrated Network, Second Edition: How TCP/IP Works in a Modern Network from Amazon.