In the 1970s, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, often dubbed the fathers of the Internet, developed the TCP/IP protocol suite. This leads many to ask what is the name of the protocol suite used on the internet?
Their work began in 1973, focusing on reliable communications over packet radio networks. They integrated lessons from the Networking Control Protocol to create TCP, now the Internet’s standard protocol.
Originally, TCP stood for Transmission Control Program. The first version appeared in 1973, evolving into TCP as documented in RFC 675 in December 1974. Cerf and Kahn also drew inspiration from CYCLADES, a French network pioneered by Louis Pouzin in 1973. This network was notable for making hosts, not the network, responsible for data delivery.
TCP/IP, vital for digital communication over distances, became ARPANET’s standard in 1983. It breaks information into packets for transmission and reassembles them at the destination. TCP handles the data packets, while IP ensures they reach the correct location.
The Internet Protocol Suite, or TCP/IP, remains crucial for the Internet and similar networks. It emerged from developments in the 1960s and 70s, with LANs and the World Wide Web later contributing. Its design focuses on efficient transmission and routing, leaving intelligence at the network’s edge.
TCP/IP’s simplicity allowed diverse networks to connect to ARPANet. Routers, initially called gateways, facilitate packet transfer between networks, as outlined in RFC 1812. DARPA’s collaboration with BBN Technologies, Stanford, and University College London led to TCP/IP’s various versions, with v4 being today’s standard.
Early tests in 1975 and 1977 linked Stanford with UCL and included a three-network test involving the US, UK, and Norway. TCP/IP prototypes proliferated between 1978 and 1983, culminating in ARPANet’s official switch to TCP/IP on January 1, 1983. The US Department of Defense adopted TCP/IP as its standard in 1982, and a 1985 workshop significantly boosted its commercial use.
The Internet Protocol Suite functions across multiple layers. Each layer addresses specific data transmission issues, aiding higher layers while relying on lower ones. The TCP/IP model, detailed in RFC 1122, includes four layers: Link, Internet, Transport, and Application. Notably, this model isn’t rigid, allowing for new protocol integration.
Today, nearly all operating systems include a TCP/IP implementation, underlining its widespread relevance and importance.