System Administration Guide: IP Services

TCP Protocol

TCP enables applications to communicate with each other as though they were connected by a physical circuit. TCP sends data in a form that appears to be transmitted in a character-by-character fashion, rather than as discrete packets. This transmission consists of the following:

TCP attaches a header onto the transmitted data. This header contains many parameters that help processes on the sending system connect to peer processes on the receiving system.

TCP confirms that a packet has reached its destination by establishing an end-to-end connection between sending and receiving hosts. TCP is therefore considered a “reliable, connection-oriented” protocol.