Innovative Web Design and Application Development Glossary of Terms

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Transmission Control Protocol
Used in conjunction with the Internet Protocol (IP) to transmit information over the Internet in the form of units.

While IP takes care of handling the actual delivery of the data, TCP takes care of keeping track of the packets that a message is divided into for efficient routing through the Internet. For example, when a web page is downloaded from a web server, the TCP program layer in that server divides the file into packets, numbers the packets, and then forwards them individually to the IP program layer. Although each packet has the same destination IP address, it may get routed differently through the network. At the other end, TCP reassembles the individual packets and waits until they have all arrived to forward them as a single file.

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