What are the Meanings of TCP/IP Protocol?

According to abbreviationfinder, TCP/IP protocol is a set of network protocols on which the Internet is based and which allow the transmission of data between computer networks. It is sometimes called the TCP/IP suite of protocols, referring to the two most important protocols that comprise it: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first two to be defined, and which They are the most used of the family. There are so many protocols in this set that there are more than 100 different ones, among them is the popular HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), which is the one used to access web pages, as well as others such as ARP(Address Resolution Protocol) for address resolution, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for file transfer, and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and POP (Post Office Protocol) for email, TELNET to access remote computers, among others.

TCP/IP is the foundation of the Internet, and is used to link computers using different operating systems, including PCs, minicomputers, and mainframes over local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs).

History of the TCP/IP Protocol

The Internet Family of Protocols were the result of work carried out by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the early 1970s. After the construction of the pioneering ARPANET in 1969 DARPA began to work on a large number of data transmission technologies. In 1972, Robert E. Kahn was hired by DARPA’s Office of Information Processing Techniques, where he worked on satellite and radio packet communication., recognized the important value of communication in these two ways. In the spring of 1973, Vint Cerf, developer of the ARPANET protocol, Network Control Program (NPC) joined Kahn with the goal of creating an open interconnect architecture and designing the new generation of ARPANET protocols.

By the summer of 1973, Kahn and Cerf had achieved a fundamental reshaping, where the differences between the network protocols were hidden using a Communications Protocol, and furthermore, the network was no longer responsible for the reliability of the communication, as was the case with the ARPANET., it was the host who was responsible. Cerf gave credit to Hubert Zimmerman and Louis Pouzin, creators of the CYCLADES network, as their work was highly influenced by the design of this network.

A computer called a router (a name that was later changed to gateway to avoid confusion with other types of gateway) is provided with an interface for each network, and sends datagrams back and forth between them. The requirements for these routers are defined in the RFC 1812 document.

This idea was put into practice in a more detailed way by the research group that Cerf had at Stanford during the period from 1973 to 1974, resulting in the first TCP specification (Request for Comments 675,) Then DARPA was contracted by BBN Technologies, Stanford University, and University College London to develop operational versions of the protocol on different hardware platforms. Thus, four different versions were developed: TCP v1, TCP v2, a third divided into two TCP v3 and IP v3 in the spring of 1978, and then the TCP/IP v4 version was stabilized — the standard protocol that is still used on the Internet.

In 1975, the first test of communication between two networks with TCP/IP protocols was carried out between Stanford University and University College London (UCL). In 1977, another communication test was performed using a TCP/IP protocol between three different networks with locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway. Several different prototypes of TCP/IP protocols were developed at multiple research centers between the years of 1978 and 1983. The complete migration of the ARPANET network to the TCP/IP protocol officially concluded on January 1, 1983when the protocols were permanently activated.

In March 1982, the United States Department of Defense declared the TCP/IP protocol the standard for communications between military networks. In 1985, the Internet Administration Center (Internet Architecture Board IAB) organized a Three-day workshop, attended by 250 commercials, thus promoting the protocol, which contributed to an increase in its commercial use.

Kahn and Cerf were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 10, 2005 for their contribution to American culture.

On January 1, 2010, the TCP/IP Protocol turned 27 years old.

TCP packet structure

A TCP packet is encapsulated by the TCP header that specifies the routing, addresses and destination of the datagram and consists of the fields:

  • Origin port.
  • Port of destination.
  • Sequence number.
  • Confirmation number.
  • Data displacement.
  • A reserved field.
  • Check bit.
  • Urgency indicator.

IP packet structure

IP is the protocol in charge of classifying and delivering packets. Each incoming or outgoing IP packet is called a datagram. The IP protocol generates datagrams by encapsulating the payload with the source IP address of the sender and the IP address of the recipient. The IP datagram consists of the following fields:

  • Header length.
  • Priority and type of service.
  • Total length.
  • Summary of indicators.
  • Scroll Fragment.
  • Time of life.
  • Destination address.
  • Options and padding.


  • The TCP/IP suite is designed for routing and has a very high degree of reliability, making it suitable for large and medium-sized networks, as well as enterprise networks. It is used globally to connect to the Internet and to web servers. It is compatible with standard tools for analyzing network performance.


  • TCP/IP is more difficult to configure and maintain than NetBEUI or IPX/SPX; it is also somewhat slower on networks with a low average volume of traffic. However, it can be faster on networks with a high volume of traffic where a large number of frames have to be routed.

Practical application

  • TCP/IP is used both in corporate networks such as university campuses or business complexes, where many routers and connections to main frame or UNIX computers are used, as well as in small or home networks, and even in mobile phones and home automation.

TCP IP Protocol