Segmentation is the process of carving up information into smaller pieces. The documentation for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) refrers to what it calls 'data streams'. A data stream is really nothing more than a series of zeroes and ones that represent information. TCP receives data from an application and segments the data into pieces. This segmentation is necessary so that the information can be placed inside the TCP data field.
Once the data is segmented it is encapsulated within TCP. The TCP segment and TCP header is then passed down to Internet Protocol which stuffs the TCP segment and header into the payload of the IP datagram.
By segmenting the data, TCP creates chunks of data that can be routed separately over whatever connections are needed in order to reach the destination. Any of these segments can be retransmitted to replace the original segmentst that got lost or damaged in transmission.
TCP reassembles segments into a data stream and feeds that data stream to the application. The best known example of this activity is HTTP transfer of a web page. The web server loads a web page from disk, encapsulates the web page text in HTTP headers, the passes the HTTP encoded stream of text to TCP. TCP segments the text stream for transport across the network. The networking software (the stack) receives the TCP data segments and reassembles the HTTP stream of text, which your web browser reads, and renders as a web page.
- Introduction to Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
- TCP: A Reliable Protocol
- TCP Header
- TCP 3-Way Handshake
- TCP Connections
- TCP Sockets
- TCP Data Transfer/a>
- TCP Segmentation and Reassembly
- TCP Flow Control
- TCP Multiplexing
- TCP Precedence
- TCP Transport Stream Push (TCP Push)