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The Transport Layer

There are two widely used transport-layer protocols in the TCP/IP suite:

  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is the protocol used for datagram sockets.

  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the protocol used for stream sockets.

Before considering these protocols, we first need to describe port numbers, a concept used by both protocols.

Port Numbers

The task of the transport protocol is to provide an end-to-end communication service to applications residing on different hosts (or sometimes on the same host). In order to do this, the transport layer requires a method of differentiating the applications on a host. In TCP and UDP, this differentiation is provided by a 16-bit port number.


  

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