TCP/IP has a number of benefits. It can be used regardless of the network technology and the architecture of the host computer. It creates universal, flexible connection options throughout the network and requires no central administration to do so. This decentralization ensures high reliability. TCP/IP is furthermore completely application independent and can be used for a variety of applications and purposes. Standardised application protocols make TCP/IP universal. Whilst IP handles addressing and network routing at the network layer, TCP provides connection oriented data transfer.
Unlike connectionless UDP (User Datagram Protocol), TCP connections are end-to-end connections with full-duplex data transfer. Before exchanging data, the communication partners establish a connection and define parameters for the data exchange. During transmission, TCP is able to secure the data transfer through confirmations. In addition, mechanisms to control the flow, jams and overloads are implemented.
A number of protocols are built on TCP/IP at the application layer. Among others, these include FTP (File Transfer Protocol), HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), Telnet (Teletype Network) or SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).