What Is TCP And UDP: An Overview In 5 Easy Points

Ajay Ohri


Both Transmission control protocol and User datagram protocol are protocols that help to decide how data is traded between 2 entities. What is TCP and UDP? The main difference between the TCP (Transmission control protocol) and UDP (User datagram protocol) delivery techniques boils down to data completeness and reliability, applications for each protocol, data transmission speeds, and how they connect. TCP utilizes handshake protocols like ACK, SYN-ACK, SYN, while UDP utilizes no handshake protocols.

  1. What is TCP?
  2. What is UDP?
  3. How does TCP work
  4. How does UDP work
  5. When to use TCP and UDP

1. What is TCP?

TCP (Transmission control protocol) causes you to decide how a particular PC ought to be connected with the web and how you can send data between them. It causes you to make a virtual network when numerous PC networks are connected. It is explicitly planned as a model to offer an exceptionally end-to-end byte stream and highly reliable over the unreliable internetwork.

TCP examples are Secure Shell (SSH), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), E-mail (SMTP TCP), and World Wide Web (HTTP).

2. What is UDP?

UDP (User datagram protocol) is utilized for multicast and broadcast type of network transmission. The User datagram protocol works practically like Transmission control protocol, however, it tosses all the back-and-forth deliverability & communication and all the error-checking stuff out.

Its working is like the transmission control protocol as it is additionally utilized for sending and accepting the message. The principal contrast is that the User datagram protocol is connectionless. Here, connectionless implies that no connection builds up a preceding correspondence. It doesn’t mind whether the data has been gotten on the beneficiary’s end or not, so it is otherwise called the “fire-and-forget” protocol. It is otherwise called the “fire-and-forget” protocol as it sends the data and doesn’t mind if the data is not received.

UDP examples are Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP), Voice over IP (VoIP), Online multiplayer games, Streaming media applications such as movies, and Domain Name System (DNS).

3. How does TCP work

A TCP (Transmission control protocol) connection is set up with the assistance of a 3-way handshake. It is a cycle of acknowledging and initiating a connection. When the connection is set up, the data move starts, and when the transmission cycle is done, the connection is ended by the end of a set up virtual circuit.

4. How does UDP work

UDP (User datagram protocol) utilizes a basic transmission technique without inferred hand-shaking discoursed for data integrity, reliability, or order. User datagram protocol additionally expects that mistake checking and the amendment isn’t significant or acted in the application, to keep away from the overhead of such handling at the network interface level. It is likewise viable with packet multicasting and broadcasts.

  • Application of TCP

Application of TCP is predominantly utilized where a reliable and secure communication measure is required, similar to e-mail, web browsing, and military services.          

  • Application of UDP

Application of UDP is utilized where quick communication is required and couldn’t care less about unwavering quality like music and video streaming, game streaming, VoIP, and so on.

  • Advantages of TCP

The benefits of TCP are as under: 

  1. It tends to be utilized to set up a connection between two PCs.
  2. Supports a few routing protocols.
  3. It tends to be operated autonomously. 
  4. TCP model has a profoundly versatile client-server architecture.
  5. It empowers the internetworking between the organizations. 
  6. It underpins many routing-protocols.
  7. It works autonomously of the operating system.
  8. It encourages you to build up/set up a connection between various kinds of PCs.
  • Advantages of UDP

The benefits of UDP are as under: 

  1. Bandwidth intensive application that suffers packet loss.
  2. Little exchange (DNS lookup).
  3. Data misfortune can be made.
  4. Multicast and broadcast transmission is likewise accessible with UDP.
  5. The beneficiary of UDP parcels gets them unmanaged, which additionally incorporates block limits.
  6. It never limits you to a connection based correspondence model; that is the reason start-up inactivity in circulated applications is low.
  • Disadvantages of TCP

The disadvantages of TCP are as under: 

  1. It doesn’t offer an unmistakable separation from its protocols, interfaces, and services.
  2. Supplanting protocol in TCP isn’t simple.
  3. In this, model the transport layer doesn’t ensure the conveyance of packets.
  4. TCP offers numerous highlights that you don’t need. It might waste effort, time, or bandwidth.
  5. TCP has no square limits, so you need to make your own.
  6. You can’t utilize it for multicast or broadcast transmission.
  7. TCP never closes a transmission without all data moving being unequivocally inquired.
  • Disadvantages of UDP

The disadvantages of UDP are as under:

  1. UDP generally prefers to suffer from worse packet loss.
  2. UDP has no flow controls and congestion control, so usage is the work of a client application.
  3. Routers/Switches are very imprudent with UDP, so they never retransmit it if it impacts.
  4. In the UDP protocol, a packet may not be delivered or delivered twice. It very well might be delivered faulty, so you get no sign.

5. When to use TCP and UDP

  1. Use TCP attachments when both customer and server freely send packets around then; a periodic deferral is worthy. (e.g., Online Poker).
  2. TCP is an ideal decision, and even it has related overhead, Therefore, when the majority of the overhead is in the association, your application stays connected for any period.
  3. You should use UDP if both customer and server may independently send packets, and incidental deferral is likewise not satisfactory. (e.g., Multiplayer games).
  4. UDP is ideal to use with mixed media like VoIP.


The transmission control protocol is slower than the User datagram protocol as it performs mistake checking, stream control, and gives affirmation to the delivery of data packets, while the User datagram protocol is quicker than the transmission control protocol as it doesn’t ensure the delivery of data packets.

Transmission control protocol performs mistake checking by utilizing a checksum. At the point when the data is amended, at that point the data is retransmitted to the recipient, on the opposite side User datagram protocol doesn’t play out any mistake checking, and doesn’t resend the lost data packets. TCP is solid as it ensures delivery of data to the objective switch, while in the UDP the delivery of data to the objective can’t be ensured.

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