difference between OSI and TCP-IP models | OSI vs TCP-IP

This page compares OSI vs TCP-IP models and mention difference between OSI and TCP-IP models. The major difference between OSI model and TCP-IP model is OSI has 7 layers where as TCP-IP has 4 layers.

Introduction :
The networking industry has a standard 7 layer model for network protocol architecture called OSI model. The OSI model is standardized by ISO for networking community so that interoperability between different systems will become easy and all will have open access to the protocols.

As mentioned OSI model is divided into 7 layers while TCPIP model is divided into 4 layers. OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection and TCPIP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.

OSI model divides application layer of TCPIP into 3 layers viz. application,presentation and session layers. OSI splits the network interface layer of TCPIP into 2 layers viz.datalink layer and physical layer. Layer-3(Network) and Layer-4(Transport) remains common in both OSI and TCPIP models.


• As mentioned in TCPIP model, network access layer corresponds to OSI model's physical and data link layers.
• OSI's data link layer is divided into two sublayers viz. MAC and LLC. MAC or Medium Access Control interfaces with the network adapter. LLC or Logical Link Control does error checking functions for the frames on the subnet and manages links.
• Refer Basics of OSI and TCP-IP Layers.

Tabular difference between OSI and TCP-IP models

Following table mentions difference between OSI and TCP-IP models.

OSI Model TCP-IP Model
7 layers 4 layers
Model was initially defined before the implementation of the stack. Model was defined after protocol stack was implemented.
OSI does not support internet working. TCP-IP supports internet working.
Strict layered Lossely layered
Support connectionless and connection oriented communication in the network layer. Support only connection oriented communication in the transport layer.
Horizontal layer Vertical approach
Separate session layer and presentation layer exist. There are no session and presentation layers. Characteristics of session layer are provided by transport layer where as characteristics of presentation layer are provided by application layer.

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of OSI model and TCP/IP model for understanding difference between them.

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