Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

When computers communicate with one another, certain rules, or protocols, allow them to transmit and receive data in an orderly fashion. Throughout the world, one of the most routinely used sets of protocols is the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). (Much of Europe, however, uses the X.25 protocol.) Some common functions for using TCP/IP are electronic mail, computer-to-computer file transfer, and remote login.

The mail user command, the Message Handling (MH) user commands, and the sendmail server command can use TCP/IP for sending and receiving mail between systems, and the Basic Networking Utilities (BNU) can use TCP/IP for sending and receiving files and commands between systems.

TCP/IP is a suite of protocols that specify communications standards between computers and detail conventions for routing and interconnecting networks. It is used extensively on the Internet and consequently allows research institutions, colleges and universities, government, and industry to communicate with each other.

TCP/IP allows communication between a number of computers (called hosts) connected on a network. Each network can be connected to another network to communicate with hosts on that network. Although there are many types of network technologies, many of which operate with packet-switching and stream transport, TCP/IP offers one major advantage: hardware independence.

Because Internet protocols define the unit of transmission and specify how to send it, TCP/IP can hide the details of network hardware, allowing many types of network technologies to connect and exchange information. Internet addresses allow any machine on the network to communicate with any other machine on the network. TCP/IP also provides standards for many of the communications services that users need.

TCP/IP provides facilities that make the computer system an Internet host, which can attach to a network and communicate with other Internet hosts. TCP/IP includes commands and facilities that allow you to:

  • Transfer files between systems
  • Log in to remote systems
  • Run commands on remote systems
  • Print files on remote systems
  • Send electronic mail to remote users
  • Converse interactively with remote users
  • Manage a network

Note: TCP/IP provides basic network management capability. The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) provides more network management commands and functions.