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Explain like I’m 5: What is TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)?

What is TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)?

Imagine you and your friend are playing catch with a ball, but instead of just throwing the ball back and forth, you are also sending messages to each other.

Now, to make sure that you both understand each other’s messages and that nothing gets lost, you decide to follow some rules.

First, you both agree that you will only throw the ball when the other person is ready to catch it. This way, you know that your message has been received.

Second, you decide that you will always count how many times you have thrown the ball, so that if a ball gets lost, you will know where you left off and can start again from there.

Finally, you also agree that you will always throw the ball with the same amount of force, so that the other person can easily catch it without it being too hard or too soft.

In the same way, when two computers communicate with each other over the internet, they also follow rules to make sure that their messages are understood and that nothing gets lost.

One of these rules is called TCP, which stands for Transmission Control Protocol. When two computers use TCP to communicate with each other, they create a “TCP stream” which is like a virtual conversation where they take turns sending messages to each other.

Just like with the ball game, TCP makes sure that each message is received and that nothing gets lost. It also keeps track of how many messages have been sent, so that if one gets lost, the computers can pick up where they left off.