TCP Vs UDP | 7 Differences between TCP and UDP Protocol

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TCP Vs UDP | 7 Differences between TCP and UDP Protocol

TCP Vs UDP | 7 Differences between TCP and UDP ProtocolTransmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) are frequent terms used in routers, firewalls and VPN softwares. They are the 2 most widely used Internet Protocol (IP) traffic. 

Both of them will be used for sending data through the internet (in the form of packets). However either of them will be working on top of IP. If the TC protocol works on top of IP, it will be referred as the '' TCP/IP ''. If it is UDP it will be know as '' UDP/IP ''. They overall decide how the data is going to be exchanged. Although they both does the same job, the method implemented by them will be different. Understanding their differences will help you to know what they are and how they are effective.

In this article, I will be mentioning about TCP Vs UDP | 7 Differences between TCP and UDP Protocol. From this post, you will know which will be the better protocol.

Let's get started,

1. Connection

In TCP there should be a connection made by the devices before transmitting the data and after transmitting the connection has to be closed as well. This makes TCP a connection orienting protocol.

While a UDP is a datagram orienting protocol. Which means that there is no connection required for transmitting or receiving data. This makes UDP ideal for broadcast and other types of network transmission.

2. Reliability

The data sent over a TCP protocol is generally reliable. It completely guarantees that the data sent will be delivered to its destination. If the data is lost in between, it recovers and retransmits data so that the host does not miss any parts.

On the contrary, UDP is unreliable. There is no guarantee that the data sent over in UDP will be reaching its destination. In between the transmit the data packets can get corrupted or completely lost over.

3. Flow Control

In order for storing and receiving data, TCP uses send buffer and receive buffer respectively. Besides that, from this receive buffer the application will be able to read the data. But once the receive buffer is full, the datas will eventually begin to drop. For controlling this TCP uses a mechanism known as Flow Control. From this mechanism, whenever a data is sent the receive buffer will inform how much spare space is actually available to the sender. This way ensures that there is no any excess data sent.

Comparing this to UDP, there is no such flow controls. The data packets here will be sent in continuous flow even in the event of dropping.

4. Transfer Method

For the method of data transfer, TCP uses Byte Stream. Which means that a stream of data packets will be sent as a whole without any proper boundaries.

While UDP sends data individually in defined boundaries. Each packet will be sent individually which will be checked at its destination.

5. Error Detection

TCP uses an impressive error checking mechanism. Each packet that arrives will be checked for errors. Apart from error checking, it will be recovered as well so that it will be transmitted to its destination flawless.

UDP on the other hand only delivers a basic level of checking. In here the packets will be checked for corruptions but it does not take any necessary steps to recover them. Any packet that seems to contain errors will be simply discarded.

6. Sequence

Another feature present in TCP is the sequencing of data. The packets that arrive at the destination will be followed by a specific order in TCP. In between the transit if the order changes, TCP will take steps to correct them.

While UDP does not follow any ordering. Because each packet is independent to each other. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that UDP delivers to its host in the same way it has received. Despite this if the ordering needs to be maintained, it has to be done through the application layer.

7. Usage

TCP is required to be used by the applications that needs more reliability. Examples for some of them are, Email services, World Wide Web and File Transfer Protocol.

Moving to UDP, it is best for the applications that needs more speed. Examples for some of them are Video streaming, Broadcasting and Domain Name System.

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