Comparison between TCP/IP vs OSI Model

Comparison between TCP_IP vs OSI

TCP/IP vs OSI Model

  • OSI model is a generic model that is based upon functionalities of each layer. TCP/IP model is a protocol-oriented standard.
  • OSI model distinguishes the three concepts, namely, services, interfaces, and protocols. TCP/IP does not have a clear distinction between these three.
  • OSI model gives guidelines on how communication needs to be done, while TCP/IP protocols layout standards on which the Internet was developed. So, TCP/IP is a more practical model.
  • In OSI, the model was developed first and then the protocols in each layer were developed. In the TCP/IP suite, the protocols were developed first and then the model was developed.


Architecture of TCP/IP and OSI model





Definition: 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.


Meaning-Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol, TCP/IP model is based on standard protocols around which the Internet has developed. It is a communication protocol, which allows connection of hosts over a network. Open system Interconnect,OSI is a generic, protocol independent standard, acting as a communication gateway between the network and end user.


Layers- 4 Layers Layers- 7 Layers


Developed by Department of Defense (DoD) Developed by ISO (International Standard Organization)


Mostly used Never used


Horizontal approach Vertical approach


In TCP/IP model the transport layer does not guarantees delivery of packets. Still the TCP/IP model is more reliable. In OSI model the transport layer guarantees the delivery of packets.


TCP/IP does not have a separate Presentation layer or Session layer. OSI model has a separate Presentation layer and Session layer.


Transport Layer is both Connection Oriented and Connection less. Transport Layer is Connection Oriented.


TCP/IP model is, in a way implementation of the OSI model. OSI is a reference model around which the networks are built. Generally it is used as a guidance tool.


The Network layer in TCP/IP model provides connectionless service. Network layer of OSI model provides both connection oriented and connectionless service.


TCP/IP model does not fit any protocol


OSI model has a problem of fitting the protocols into the model.


In TCP/IP replacing protocol is not easy. Protocols are hidden in OSI model and are easily replaced as the technology changes.


In TCP/IP, services, interfaces and protocols are not clearly separated. It is also protocol dependent. OSI model defines services, interfaces and protocols very clearly and makes clear distinction between them. It is protocol independent.

Following are some similarities between OSI Reference Model and TCP/IP Reference Model.

  • Both have layered architecture.
  • Layers provide similar functionalities.
  • Both are protocol stack.
  • Both are reference models.


In this article, we have seen differences between TCP/IP and OSI model, TCP/IP is widely used to convey the information via the internet from beginning to end. Hence we can conclude that TCP/IP is more robust, flexible than the OSI model and also indicates how information should be transmitted over the Internet.

I hope this post helps you to understand all the comparisons between “TCP/IP and OSI”.
Keep Learning 🙂

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