The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is one of the main protocols of the internet protocol suite. It is used by network devices, like routers, to send error messages indicating, for example, that a requested service is not available or that a host or router could not be reached. ICMP can also be used to relay query messages. It is assigned protocol number 1. ICMP differs from transport protocols such as TCP and UDP in that it is not typically used to exchange data between systems, nor is it regularly employed by end-user network applications (with the exception of some diagnostic tools like ping and traceroute).