The Internet Protocol Suite is the set of communications protocols used for the Internet and other similar networks. It is commonly also known as TCP/IP, named from two of the most important protocols in it: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first two networking protocols defined in this standard. Modern IP networking represents a synthesis of several developments that began to evolve in the 1960s and 1970s, namely the Internet and local area networks, which emerged during the 1980s, together with the advent of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s.

The Internet Protocol Suite, like many protocol suites, is constructed as a set of layers. Each layer solves a set of problems involving the transmission of data. In particular, the layers define the operational scope of the protocols within.

Often a component of a layer provides a well-defined service to the upper layer protocols and may be using services from the lower layers. Upper layers are logically closer to the user and deal with more abstract data, relying on lower layer protocols to translate data into forms that can eventually be physically transmitted.

The TCP/IP model consists of four layers (RFC 1122).From lowest to highest, these are the Link Layer, the Internet Layer, the Transport Layer, and the Application Layer.