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The TCP/IP Stack

The TCP/IP Stack, or the internet protocol suite, is a set of communication protocols used by the Internet or similar networks. Originally resulting from research at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The TCP/IP stack has gradually grown to include a suite of protocols. (A protocol is simply a "set of rules", in this context, for governing networks)

Great context for the four layer model and TCP/IP

TCP Explained

Additional Reading

TCP/IP and UDP Compared