The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols that implements the protocol stack on which the Internet and many commercial networks run. It is part of the TCP/IP protocol suite, which is named after two of the most important protocols in it: the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which were also the first two networking protocols defined. The Internet protocol suite — like many protocol suites — can be viewed as a set of layers. Each layer solves a set of problems involving the transmission of data, and provides a well-defined service to the upper layer protocols based on using services from some 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 original TCP/IP reference model consists of 4 layers, but has evolved into a 5-layer model. More details here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TCP/IP_model.