Difference Between TCP/IP and OSI Model

Difference Between TCP/IP and OSI Model(Tabular Form)

Difference between TCP IP and OSI ModelTCP/IP is a communication protocol that allows for connections of hosts to the internet. OSI, on the other hand, is a communication gateway between the network and the end users. TCP/IP refers to Transmission Control Protocol used in and by the applications on the internet.

TCP/IP and OSI are the two most widely use networking models for communication. There are some similarities and dissimilarities between them. One of the major difference is that OSI is a conceptual model which is not practically used for communication, whereas, TCP/IP is used for establishing a connection and communicating through the network.

Comparison Chart

Expands To TCP/IP- Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol OSI- Open system Interconnect
Meaning It is a client server model used for transmission of data over the internet. It is a theoretical model which is used for computing system.
No. Of Layers 4 Layers 7 Layers
Developed by Department of Defense (DoD) ISO (International Standard Organization)
Tangible Yes No
Usage Mostly used Never used



The TCP/IP Model was developed before OSI Model, and hence, the layers differ. Concerning the diagram, it is clearly seen that TCP/IP Model has four layers namely, Network Interface, Internet, Transport and Application Layer. Application Layer of TCP/IP is a combination of Session, Presentation and Application Layer of the OSI Model.

Definition of TCP/IP MODEL

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) /IP (Internet Protocol) was developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) project agency. Unlike OSI Model, it consists of four layers, with each having its protocols. Internet Protocols are the set of rules defined for communication over the network. TCP/IP is considered as the standard protocol model for networking. TCP handles data transmission and IP handles addresses.
The TCP/IP suite is a set of protocols that includes TCP, UDP, ARP, DNS, HTTP, ICMP, etc. It is robust, flexible and mostly used for interconnecting computers over the internet.
The layers, TCP/IP, has are:

  • Network Interface Layer,
  • Internet Layer,
  • Transport Layer,
  • Application Layer.

Definition of OSI Model

OSI (Open System Interconnect) model was introduced by ISO (International Standard Organization). It is not a protocol but a model which is base on the concept of layering. It has a vertical set of layers, each having different functions. It follows a bottom-up approach to transfer the data. It is robust and flexible, but not tangible.
The seven layers of the model are:

  • Application Layer,
  • Presentation Layer,
  • Session Layer,
  • Transport Layer,
  • Network Layer,
  • Data Link Layer,
  • Physical Layer.


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