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Daniil Fedorov
May 24, 2024
Updated May 24, 2024


What is UDP?

UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is one of the main network protocols used for data transmission on the Internet. Unlike TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), UDP does not provide reliable data delivery and does not require a connection to be established before data is transmitted. This makes UDP a lighter and faster protocol, but with fewer delivery guarantees.

The basic functions and features of UDP

  1. No established connection: UDP does not require an established connection between sender and receiver before sending data. Data is simply sent as individual packets (datagrams).
  2. Fast data transfer: Since UDP does not spend time establishing a connection and confirming data delivery, it provides faster transmission compared to TCP.
  3. Lack of delivery assurance: UDP does not provide integrity checking and resend lost or damaged packets. The recipient may receive packets in the wrong order, or not receive them at all. This aspect of UDP you should be aware of.
  4. Smaller header: UDP has a simpler header than TCP, which simplifies processing and reduces data transfer overhead. The UDP header consists of 8 bytes, while TCP consists of 20 or more bytes
  5. Usage: UDP is often used in applications where speed of data transfer is more important than reliability, such as video and audio streaming, online gaming, VoIP (Voice over IP), and DNS (Domain Name System).

UDP Advantages

  • High Performance: Due to the lack of a connection establishment procedure and lower overhead, UDP provides high performance and low latency.
  • Simplicity: A simpler header and the absence of flow and congestion control mechanisms make UDP easier to implement and use.

Disadvantages of UDP

  • Lack of reliability: There is no guarantee of delivery, order, or integrity of transmitted data.
  • Lack of flow control: UDP does not provide flow control mechanisms, which can lead to network congestion.
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