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This paper presents a new analytical model for the estimation of the performance of TCP connections. The model is based on the description of the behavior of TCP in terms of a closed queueing network. The model is very accurate, deriving directly from the finite state machine description of the protocol. The assessment of the accuracy of the analytical model is based on comparisons against detailed simulation experiments developed with the ns-2 package. The protocol model interacts with an IP network model that can take into account meshed topologies with several bottlenecks. Numerical results indicate that the proposed closed queueing network model provides accurate performance estimates in all situations. A novel and interesting property of the model is the possibility of deriving ensemble distributions of relevant parameters, such as, for instance, the transmission window size or the timeout probability, which provide useful insight into the protocol behavior and properties.