What is TCP and Why Should You Care?

When connecting two computers to exchange data, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is the go-to protocol for reliable and secure communication. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring exactly what TCP is, how it works, its advantages and disadvantages, and its role in DNS. Keep reading to find out more!

Explanation of TCP

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is an end-to-end transport layer protocol used to establish connections and exchange data reliably between two computers over a network. It is an integral part of the Internet Protocol Suite and provides a connection-oriented service between two hosts. Using the reliable and efficient TCP protocol, network applications can send data reliably over the network without complicated protocols such as FTP. With its reliable and efficient data transmission, Transmission Control Protocol is ideal for applications such as web browsing and data transfer services.

How does it function?

TCP uses a set of rules known as a transmission control protocol. This protocol establishes a reliable, connection-oriented link between two computers and transfers data in a series of bytes. This is achieved by breaking the data into small chunks and adding a sequence number to each data part. Then, the receiving computer reassembles the data in the same order it was sent. Additionally, Transmission Control Protocol also has features such as error checking, retransmission of lost packets, and flow control to ensure the reliability of the data transfer. By following this protocol, TCP can reliably send and receive data between two points, creating a foundation for all the information we communicate on the internet today.

Advantages and disadvantages of TCP

One of the main advantages of the TCP protocol is its reliability. Following the designated rules and sequence of the transmission control protocol, TCP ensures that data is reliably sent and received in the same order. As a result, network applications can be confident that the data they are sending or receiving is accurate and complete. Additionally, TCP’s built-in error correction and flow-control features guarantee that connection-oriented issues, such as resending lost packets and controlling the data flow, are taken care of automatically.

Despite its advantages, TCP also comes with some disadvantages. One of the most significant drawbacks of the protocol is that it can be slow, especially compared to other connectionless protocols such as UDP. Additionally, Transmission Control Protocol requires an extensive amount of additional overhead information, resulting in more network traffic. This can lead to slower speeds and higher latency on networks with limited bandwidth. Finally, TCP is connection-oriented, meaning it cannot function properly on connectionless networks such as mobile networks. For these reasons, other protocols, such as UDP, are sometimes used instead.

The role of TCP in DNS

TCP plays an essential role in DNS (Domain Name System). It is explicitly used for resolving domain names, which means it sends the queries to the correct server and receives the response. To accomplish this task, Transmission Control Protocol uses a three-way handshake to establish the connection, followed by an exchange of requests, and then the client receives the response. After the response is received, the relationship must be closed. This is known as “graceful shutdown” and is handled by TCP. In this way, it provides an essential service to DNS, ensuring that data transmission is reliable and secure.

TCP monitoring – Everything you need to know


TCP is an essential part of the Internet Protocol Suite and is reliably used to send and receive data between two points. It provides an invaluable service to network applications with built-in error checking, retransmission capabilities, flow control, and gracefully closing connections. If you’re curious about how TCP works and why you should care, start by understanding its features, applications, and security implications.

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