TCP/IP Layers

January 14, 2008

The TCP/IP model defines four totally independent layers into which it divides the process of communication between two devices. The layers through which it passes information between two devices are:

TCP/IP Layers

1. Application Layer

The application layer is the layer nearest the end user. This is the layer that is in charge of translating data from applications into information that can be sent through the network.

The basic functions of this layer are:

  • Representation
  • Codification
  • Dialog Control
  • Application Management

2. Transport Layer

The transport layer establishes, maintains and finishes virtual circuits for information transfer. It provides control mechanisms for data flow and allows broadcasting, and it provides mechanisms for the detection and correction of errors.

The information that arrives at this layer from the application layer is divided into different segments. Information that comes to the transport layer from the internet layer is delivered back to the application layer through ports.

The basic functions of this layers are:

  • Reliability
  • Flow Control
  • Error Correction
  • Broadcasting

3. Internet Layer

This layer divides the segments of the transport layer into packets and sends the packets across the networks that made up the internet. It uses IP, or internet protocol addresses to determine the location of the recipient device. It does not ensure reliability in the connection, because this is already taken care of by the transport layer, but it is responsible for selecting the best route between the originating device and the recipient device.

4. Network Access Layer

This layer is in charge of sending information at both the LAN level and the physical level. It transforms all the information that arrives from the superior layers into basic information (bits) and directs it to the proper location. At this level, the destination of the information is determined by the MAC, or media access control, address of the recipient device.


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