The transport layer implements optional, reliable internetwork data transport services that are transparent to upper layers. Transport layer functions can include flow control, multiplexing, virtual circuit management, and error checking and recovery.
Flow control manages data transmission between devices so that the transmitting device does not send more data than the receiving device can process. Multiplexing enables the transmission of data from several applications to a single physical link. The transport layer establishes, maintains, and terminates virtual circuits. Error checking involves creating various mechanisms for detecting transmission errors, while error recovery involves taking an action, such as requesting that data be retransmitted, to resolve any errors.
Some transport layer implementations include TCP, which is the protocol in the TCP/IP suite that provides reliable transmission of data, and OSI transport protocols, which are a series of transport protocols in the OSI protocol suite.
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