Internet Protocol Suite


The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols used for the Internet and similar networks, and generally the most popular protocol stack for wide area networks. It is commonly known as TCP/IP, because of its most important protocols: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first networking protocols defined in this standard. It is occasionally known as the DoD model due to the foundational influence of the ARPANET in the 1970s (operated by DARPA, an agency of the United States Department of Defense).

TCP/IP provides end-to-end connectivity specifying how data should be formatted, addressed, transmitted, routed and received at the destination. It has four abstraction layers which are used to sort all Internet protocols according to the scope of networking involved. From lowest to highest, the layers are:

  1. The link layer contains communication technologies for a local network.
  2. The internet layer (IP) connects local networks, thus establishing internetworking.
  3. The transport layer handles host-to-host communication.
  4. The application layer contains all protocols for specific data communications services on a process-to-process level. For example, HTTP specifies the web browser communication with a web server.

The TCP/IP model and related protocols are maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).