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I thought IPv6 and TCP could be used independently, but IP does not need TCP at all, whereas TCP usually needs IP to function. Is my understanding correct? Does IPv6 need TCP to function? Looking at the OSI layer descriptions it appears that internet protocols (IP) belong to layer 3 and the transport layer (e.g. TCP) is layer 4 so my interpretation would be that the two can used independently. Still, the internet protocol will not fail if TCP fails, but normally TCP would fail if the internet protocol fails, but TCP could rely on some other addressing than IP (?) and still work.

I read in an answer here that "you can use different transport protocols (TCP and UDP) with the network layer, IP." but surely it would not be feasible or any idea to "use IP with TCP", meaning that "IP uses TCP to function", or I'm not sure what the later statement would imply.

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  • Any protocol only requires the protocols in the next-lower OSI layer to work. It doesn't care about the protocols it carries.
    – Zac67
    Feb 18 at 10:04
  • RFCs 1791 and 1792 specified TCP and UDP over IPX, rather than using IP. Theoretically, TCP and UDP could use different layer-3 protocols as they do with IPv4 and IPv6, which are separate, incompatible protocols.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 18 at 14:05

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