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The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a core protocol of the Internet protocol suite. It originated in the initial network implementation in which it complemented the Internet Protocol (IP).

The entire suite is commonly referred to as TCP/IP. TCP provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of a stream of octets between applications running on hosts communicating over an IP network. TCP is the protocol that major Internet applications such as the World Wide Web, email, remote administration and file transfer rely on.

TCP is utilized extensively by many popular applications carried on the Internet, including the World Wide Web (WWW), E-mail, File Transfer Protocol, Secure Shell, peer-to-peer file sharing, and many streaming media applications.

TCP is optimized for accurate delivery rather than timely delivery, and therefore, TCP sometimes incurs relatively long delays (on the order of seconds) while waiting for out-of-order messages or retransmissions of lost messages. It’s also a reliable stream delivery service that guarantees that all bytes received will be identical with bytes sent and in the correct order.