Point-to-point is the simplest model of communication, as illustrated in Figure 1; it is a model of one-to-one communications. The telephone is an example of an everyday point-to-point communications device. To use a telephone, you must know the address (phone number) of the other party. Once a connection is established, you can have a reasonably high-bandwidth conversation. However, the telephone does not work as well if you have to talk to many people at the same time. The telephone is essentially one-to-one communication.

Figure 1. Point-to-Point Communication Model

TCP is a point-to-point network protocol designed in the 1970s. While it provides reliable, highbandwidth communication, TCP is cumbersome for systems with many communicating nodes.