TCP/IP Reference Model

TCP/IP model define 4 layers that are as follows:

1) Internet layer :
Packet switching network depends upon a connectionless internetwork layer. This layer is known as internet layer, is the linchpin that holds the whole design together. Its job is to allow hosts to insert packets into any network and have them to deliver independently to the destination. They may appear in a different order than
they were sent in each case it is a job of higher layers to rearrange them in order to deliver them to proper destination.

The internet layer specifies an official packet format and protocol known as internet protocol. The job of internet layer is to transport IP packets to appropriate destination. Packet routing is very essential task in order to avoid congestion. For these reason it is said that TCP/IP internet layer perform same function as that of OSI network layer.

2) Transport layer :
In the TCP/IP model, the layer above the internet layer is known as transport layer. It is developed to permit entities on the source and destination hosts to carry on a conversation. It specifies 2 end-to-end protocols
1)TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
2)UDP (User Datagram Protocol)

1) TCP
It is a reliable connection-oriented protocol that permits a byte stream originating on one machine to be transported without error on any machine in the internet. It divides the incoming byte stream into discrete message and passes each one onto the internet layer. At the destination, the receiving TCP process collects the received message into the output stream. TCP deals with flow control to make sure a fast sender cannot swamp a slow receiver with more message than it can handle.

2) UDP

It is an unreliable, connectionless protocol for applications that do not want TCP's sequencing on flow control and wish to offer their own. It is also used for client-server type request-reply queries and applications in which prompt delivery is more important than accurate delivery such as transmitting speech or video.

Application Layer :
In TCP/IP model, session or presentation layer are not present. Application layer is present on the top of the Transport layer. It includes all the higher-level protocols which are virtual terminal (TELNET), file transfer (FTP) and electronic mail (SMTP).

The virtual terminal protocol permits a user on one machine to log into a distant machine and work there. The file transfer protocol offers a way to move data efficiently from one machine to another. Electronic mail was used for file transfer purpose but later a specialized protocol was developed for it.

The Application Layer defines following protocols

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
It was designed to permit reliable transfer of files over different platforms. At the transport layer to ensure reliability, FTP uses TCP. FTP offers simple commands and makes the differences in storage methods across networks transparent to the user. The FTP client is able to interact with any FTP server; therefore the FTP server must also be able to interact with any FTP client. FTP does not offer a user interface, but it does offer an application program interface for file transfer. The client part of the protocol is called FTP and the server part of the protocol is known as FTPd. The suffix "d" means Daemon this is a legacy from Unix computing where a daemon is a piece of software running on a server that offers a service.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
HTTP permits applications such as browsers to upload and download web pages. It makes use of TCP at the transport layer again to check reliability. HTTP is a connectionless protocol that sends a request, receives a response and then disconnects the connection. HTTP delivers HTML documents plus all the other components supported within HTML such as JavaScript, Visual script and applets.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
By using TCP, SMTP sends email to other computers that support the TCP/IP protocol suite. SMTP provides an extension to the local mail services that existed in the early years of LANs. It supervises the email sending from the local mail host to a remote mail host. It is not reliable for accepting mail from local users or distributing received mail to recipients this is the responsibility of the local mail system.

SMTP makes use of TCP to establish a connection to the remote mail host, the mail is sent, any waiting mail is requested and then the connection is disconnected. It can also return a forwarding address if the intended recipient no longer receives email at that destination. To enable mail to be delivered across differing systems, a mail gateway is used.

Simple Network Management Protocol
For the transport of network management information, SNMP is used as standardized protocol. Managed network devices can be cross-examined by a computer running to return details about their status and level of activity. Observing software can also trigger alarms if certain performance criteria drop below acceptable restrictions. At the transport layer SNMP protocol uses UDP. The use of UDP results in decreasing network traffic overheads.

4) The Host to Network Layer:
Below the internet layer is great void. The TCP/IP reference model does not really say such about what happen here, except to point out that the host has connect to the network using some protocol so it can transmit IP packets over it. This protocol is not specified and varies from host to host and network to network.

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