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Advantages of TCP-IP | disadvantages of TCP-IP

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of TCP-IP. It mentions TCP-IP advantages or benefits and TCP-IP disadvantages or drawbacks. TCP-IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol-Internet Protocol.

What is TCP-IP?

• It establishes connected oriented service.
• It is defined in RFC793.
• It is considered as most reliable connection due to presence of sync/ack fields.
• TCP header is mentioned below, it contains protocol field with value "0x06" in IP header. The TCP header consists of source port, destination port, sequence number, Acknowledgement number, header length, flags (U,A,P,R,S,F), window, checksum, pointer and few padding bits.
• TCP/IP uses continuous stream of ordered data which are fed from upper layer and segmented before transmission. It uses window size to protect buffer space and routing of packets. This flow control mechanism helps in TCP/IP.
• It performs multiplexing and demultiplexing of applications based on unique port address fields.
• It is reliable in-order byte-stream protocol.
• As shown in the figure-1, TCP is used at 4th layer and IP is used at 3rd layer.


The figure-1 depicts comparison of TCP/IP stack with OSI stack.

TCP Header IPV4 header

The figure-2 and 3 mentions fields in TCP header and IP header.

TCP Connection Establishment and Termination

The figure-4 mentions TCP connection establishment and connection termination procedures. It uses 3-way handshake using flags for connection establishment (SYN, SYN-ACK and ACK). It uses "FIN" flag for termination.

Benefits or advantages of TCP-IP

Following are the benefits or advantages of TCP-IP:
➨It is an industry standard and open protocol with scalable architecture.
➨TCP protocol is connection oriented and uses sequence numbers which are unique to different packets. Hence it guarantees data delivery in ordered fashion without any duplication.
➨It uses flow control, Error control and congestion control mechanisms.
➨Since the stack is embedded in the OS (Operating System), the kernel takes care of reassembly, acking, flow control etc. This relieves most of the complex tasks usually carried out by the programmer.
➨Routers read TCP packets and provide special treatment to them.
➨TCP provides relatively better throughput when used on modem or on LAN.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of TCP-IP

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of TCP-IP:
➨It is difficult to setup and maintain compare to NetBEUI or IPX/SPX.
➨It can be slower than IPX/SPX and NetBEUI on networks with light to medium traffic.
➨Handoff overhead can be significant.
➨Centralized TCP/IP domain assignment requires registration effort and cost.
➨TCP/IP can not conclude transmission without all the data in motion are being explicitly acked.
➨TCP does not have any block boundaries. Programmer need to create their own.

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