What is a TCP/IP socket?

A TCP/IP socket is used for communications between two computers. The socket includes the Internet Protocol (IP) address, as well as the host or port that computers are using to transmit data. All applications participating in the broadcast use the socket to send and receive information.

The purpose of the TCP/IP socket is to identify the IP address of a computer or server.

The purpose of a TCP/IP socket is to identify the unique IP address of the computer or network server, along with its port number. Port numbers are sometimes called hosts and tell the receiving computer where to send the requested data. Together, the IP address and port number form a socket.

A TCP/IP socket is used for communications between two computers.

A port address is the port number that will be used to send and receive data. Each computer device has several different ports that it uses to send and receive communications. Because some of these ports can be used by certain devices, such as printers, the computer needs to tell other devices where to send information. In Internet communication, the port can be an Ethernet port assigned to a specific device or the port address of a server that is connected to multiple individual computers.

A computer socket, including a TCP/IP socket, is used to facilitate communication between two separate devices. It provides instructions on where this communication should be sent. The IP address and port address contained in the TCP/IP socket tell the receiving computer where to send the requested data. It also helps to establish some sort of uniform language across machines.

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When a socket is created, the sender and receiver test the communication port to ensure that data is passing through. The sender can send a request that tells the recipient what their identity is. A reply is then sent back to the sender, confirming the sender’s identity while also communicating the recipient’s identity. As long as communications take place and the socket is confirmed to be working, further requests for data continue.

Sockets are created whenever a communication protocol is established between two or more devices. Once the communication process is finished, the TCP/IP socket is closed. If for some reason the requested port is not available, the socket will not be created. An error message usually notifies the sender and receiver that the socket has failed.

Applications used in communications, including web browsers, also use TCP/IP sockets to send and receive data. During the time the socket is in use, all communications and applications are bound to the port address that is identified on the socket. As applications send and receive data, they look for the socket’s specific host or port address.

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