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TCP provides reliable, ordered, error-checked delivery of a stream of octets between programs running on computers connected to a local area network, intranet or the public Internet. It resides at the transport layer.

Web browsers use TCP when they connect to servers on the World Wide Web, and it is used to deliver email and transfer files from one location to another.

Applications that do not require the reliability of a TCP connection may instead use the connectionless User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which emphasizes low-overhead operation and reduced latency rather than error checking and delivery validation.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_Control_Protocol

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