TCP vs IP
TCP and IP are the first and the most important two communication protocols in the Internet Protocol Suite (which include all the communications protocols, i.e., set of rules and message formats implement to transfer data between computer systems, used for Internet and other networks). Sometimes the Internet Protocol Suite is referred to as TCP/IP due to the importance the two protocols hold. TCP belongs in the Transport Layer and IP belongs in the Internet Layer of the Internet Protocols Suite.
What is IP?
IP or the Internet Protocol is the basic protocol that makes up the Internet, as it is responsible for the addressing hosts (computers) and transportation of data packets between hosts, through a packet switched internetwork. Residing on the Internet Layer of Internet Protocol Suite, IP only carries out the task of delivering packets of data (Datagrams) from one host to another, depending on the host addresses; therefore, is considered unreliable, as Data Packets send through Internet using IP can be lost, corrupted or delivered in an unordered manner.
As the main tasks of the IP is Addressing and Routing (delivery of data packets), IP defines an addressing system that identify and give logical IP addresses or locations to hosts. IP routing is usually performed by both hosts and routers, which forwards data packets encapsulated with a header that contains information about data and destination IP address, and a body that contains data, to destination hosts.
What is TCP?
TCP or the Transmission Control Protocol, which belongs in the Transport Layer of the Internet Protocol Suit, assures reliability and the ordered delivery of information (in the form of byte streams) from one computer to another. Most of the Internet applications that require reliable and secure data transferring such as World Wide Web, E-mail, peer-to-peer file Sharing, Streaming media applications and other file transferring services, uses TCP for transmission and communication purposes.
TCP acts as an intermediate layer between application and internet layers. When an application needs to send data across Internet using IP, without directly accessing IP, application sends requests to TCP, which handles all the IP related details. If there is any packet loss, corruption or unordered data delivery is detected by TCP, it requests the data packets to be resend and re-arranges data before it is sent back to the application. TCP worries about accurate data transmission rather than fast delivery; therefore, may cause delays waiting for re-transmissions, data ordering, etc.
What is the difference between IP and TCP?
IP and TCP are two protocols that work together in reliable delivery of data over the networks, especially Internet. While IP defines rules that deliver the data from one host to another, TCP defines rules that make sure delivered data is without any loss or corruption and is delivered in an orderly manner.
The main difference between the two protocols is the layers that they reside in. TCP belongs to Transport Layer and IP belongs to Internet Layer of the Protocol Suit. In addition, while TCP gives priority to the accuracy of the data delivered, IP gives priority to the accuracy of the location of data delivery than accuracy of data.
Furthermore, IP defines a set of logical addresses referred to as IP addresses, which helps in the identification of source and destination hosts that are vital for accurate delivery as well as in maintaining data accuracy, as when corruption or loss of data occurs, the source destination must be known for re-transmission.