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Difference between TCP / IP and OSI model

Difference between TCP / IP and OSI model

TCP / IP and OSI are the two most used network models for communication. There are some similarities and dissimilarities between them. One of the main differences is that OSI is a conceptual model that is practically not used for communication, while TCP / IP is used to establish a connection and communicate through the network.

Other differences are discussed below.

Comparative chart

Basis for comparison TCP / IP model OSI model
Expands to TCP / IP – Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol OSI- Open interconnection system
Sense a client server model used for data transmission over the Internet. a theoretical model that is used for the calculation system.
No. of layers 4 layers 7 layers
Developed by Department of Defense (DoD) ISO (International Standard Organization)
Tangible s No
use Mainly used Never used

The TCP / IP model was developed before the OSI model and therefore the layers differ. As for the diagram, it is clearly seen that the TCP / IP model has four levels, namely, Network interface, Internet, Transport and Application Layer. TCP / IP Application Layer a combination of Session, Presentation and Application Layer of the OSI model.

Definition of TCP / IP MODEL

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) / Internet Protocol (IP) was developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) project agency. Unlike the OSI model, consisting of four levels, each with its own protocols. Internet protocols are the set of rules defined for communication on the network. TCP / IP considered the standard protocol model for the network. TCP manages data transmission and IP addresses. The TCP / IP suite is a set of protocols that includes TCP, UDP, ARP, DNS, HTTP, ICMP, etc. robust, flexible and mainly used for the interconnection of computers on the Internet. The levels, TCP / IP, are:

  • Network interface level,
  • Internet level,
  • Transport layer,
  • Application level.

Definition of the OSI model

The OSI (Open System Interconnect) model was introduced by the ISO (International Standard Organization). Not a protocol but a model based on the concept of stratification. It has a vertical set of layers, each with different functions. A bottom-up approach to transferring data follows. robust and flexible, but not tangible. The seven layers of the model are:

  • Application level,
  • Presentation level,
  • Session level,
  • Transport layer,
  • Network level,
  • Data link layer,
  • Physical layer

Key differences between TCP / IP and OSI model

  1. TCP / IP is a client-server model, that is, when the client requests a service provided by the server. Whereas, OSI is a conceptual model.
  2. TCP / IP is a standard protocol used for all networks including the Internet, while OSI is not a protocol but a reference model used to understand and design the system architecture.
  3. TCP / IP is a four-tier model, while OSI has seven tiers.
  4. TCP / IP follows the vertical approach. On the other hand, the OSI model supports the horizontal approach.
  5. Tangible TCP / IP, while, OSI does not.
  6. TCP / IP follows the top-down approach, while the OSI model follows a bottom-up approach.


As for the previous article, we can conclude that the reliable TCP / IP model compared to the OSI model, TCP / IP is used for the end-to-end connection in order to transmit data over the Internet. Robust, flexible, tangible TCP / IP and also suggests how data should be sent over the web. The transport layer of the TCP / IP model checks whether the data arrived in order, has an error or not, lost packets are sent or not, acknowledgment received or not, etc.