The ACK bit is continuously used as part of the process of transferring data.
Since the purpose of TCP is to be a reliable protocol, it has to have some way to acknowledge that all pieces of data were correctly received. The ACK associated with the Acknowledgment number is used to do so.
The TCP must recover from data that is damaged, lost, duplicated, or
delivered out of order by the internet communication system. This
is achieved by assigning a sequence number to each octet
transmitted, and requiring a positive acknowledgment (ACK) from the
receiving TCP. If the ACK is not received within a timeout
interval, the data is retransmitted. At the receiver, the sequence
numbers are used to correctly order segments that may be received
out of order and to eliminate duplicates. Damage is handled by
adding a checksum to each segment transmitted, checking it at the
receiver, and discarding damaged segments.
As long as the TCPs continue to function properly and the internet
system does not become completely partitioned, no transmission
errors will affect the correct delivery of data. TCP recovers from
internet communication system errors.
TCP provides a means for the receiver to govern the amount of data
sent by the sender. This is achieved by returning a "window" with
every ACK indicating a range of acceptable sequence numbers beyond
the last segment successfully received. The window indicates an
allowed number of octets that the sender may transmit before
receiving further permission.