What is TCP/IP?
The Internet Protocol Suite is commonly referred to as TCP/IP. The suite consists of a set of communication protocols that can be used on a computer network. The suite has got its name from its two most important protocols, TCP and IP.
How does TCP/IP Work?
TCP/IP is composed of layers, wherein each layer is responsible for performing certain operations on the data it receives and passing it to the higher layers. Each layer deals with certain issues related to the transmission of data and renders certain services to its higher layers. For a detailed description of TCP/IP, you must take a look at the TCP/IP Reference Model.
The TCP/IP model consists of the link layer, the Internet layer, the transport layer, and the application layer. Each layer consists of a set of protocols that function on the level of that layer. The link layer protocols are responsible for connecting the nodes in a network. The Internet layer consists of protocols, specifications, and methods that are used to transport data packets across the network. Transport layer protocols deal with the transmission of data packets between source and destination network hosts. The application layer, the topmost layer in TCP/IP, directly interacts with application services.
Thus we see that TCP/IP functions at all the levels of communication between the components of a network. It is truly at the heart of network communication.