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TCP is a network encapsulation protocol that sends data via IP. TCP stands for transmission control protocol. Unlike its unreliable counterpart, UDP, TCP guarantees delivery of network packets, validating that each one reaches its destination, and retransmits as necessary. This is not always so useful in a real-time multimedia streaming application. But TCP-based transport schemes are often useful as a lowest common denominator of protocols for getting data through firewalls, typically via HTTP.

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TCP Characteristics