A method and system is presented for the bi-directional transfer of data packets over a TCP communications system that can comprise both terrestrial and satellite links, using an enhanced flight protocol that, transparently to the end users, replaces the TCP over the congested satellite link portion of the system that accelerates the data delivery between end users and improves reliability of the data packet transmission. The invention eliminates the conventional TCP 3-way handshake and other associated time-delay procedures and replaces them with an improved use of performance enhancing proxies at either end of the satellite link that use a unique acknowledgement methods, data buffer storage and packet header field arrangement among the design features of a flight protocol method and system that accelerates data packet transfer with more efficient link capacity use and greater data throughput.
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