Transmission Control Protocol

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a standard that defines how to establish and maintain a network conversation via which application programs can exchange data. TCP works with the Internet Protocol (IP), which defines how computers send packets of data to each other. Together, TCP and IP are the basic rules defining the Internet.

TCP is a connection-oriented protocol, which means a connection is established and maintained until the application programs at each end have finished exchanging messages. It determines how to break application data into packets that networks can deliver, sends packets to and accepts packets from the network layer, manages flow control, and—because it is meant to provide error-free data transmission—handles retransmission of dropped or garbled packets as well as acknowledgement of all packets that arrive.

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