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TCP and UDP are the most widely used communication protocols in the Internet protocol stack. One ensures that the data you send is received accurately. The other transfers data swiftly. The importance of accuracy against speed decides whether an application uses TCP or UDP.

Before getting started with the differences between the two, let us first get to know what they mean, and ponder over the topics we will cover in this blog:

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What do TCP and UDP mean?

  • TCP is a connection-oriented protocol, meaning that data can be sent both ways once a link is established.
  • TCP provides built-in algorithms for identifying problems and ensuring that data is sent in the order it was received, making it the optimum protocol for sending data such as still photos, data files, and web pages.

On the other hand;

  • UDP is a more straightforward, connectionless Internet protocol that does not require error-checking or recovery services. There is no overhead for starting, maintaining, or terminating a UDP connection; data is continuously sent to the destination, whether they receive it or not.
  • Although UDP is not suitable for email, online access, or file downloads, it is frequently used for real-time communications such as broadcast or multiplex network transmission.

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It is a protocol used to establish connections.It is a protocol that does not necessitate the establishment of a connection.
TCP receives data in the form of bytes streams and transmits messages to segment boundaries.UDP communications consist of packets that are sent one at a time. It also checks for integrity as it arrives.
TCP messages are transmitted from one computer to another via the internet.Because it does not rely on connections, one software can send a large number of packets to another.
TCP rearranges data packets in the given order.The UDP protocol has no predefined sequence because every packet is independent of one another.  
TCP operates at a slower rate.UDP is faster because error recovery is not performed.

Characteristics of TCP

Characteristics of TCP

TCP provides the following critical features:

  • Delivery Acknowledgements
  • Once more, transmission
  • Transmission is delayed when the network is congested.
  • Easy Error Detection

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Characteristics of UDP

Characteristics of UDP
  • Allows the execution of bandwidth-intensive programs that can withstand packet loss.
  • Less time spent waiting
  • It sends out a big number of packets.
  • The possibility of data loss exists.
  • Minor trades are permitted ( DNS lookup)

TCP Function

The source and destination TCP endpoints initiate a TCP conversation using a three-way handshake:

  • The source sends a message with an Initial Sequence Number to the destination (ISN).
  • The destination increases the Sequence Number (SN) and returns it back to the source.
  • The source again increases the SN and transmits it to the destination.

At the source, TCP isolates data arriving from the application layer. Each piece of data is encased in a header to form a TCP segment. One of the ten necessary fields in the TCP header is the Sequence Number. Each new segment is given an SN that is one higher than the SN of the previous part.

How Does UDP Function?

  • To construct a datagram, UDP encapsulates each item of data in a header at the source. The header contains fields for the source and destination ports, the length of the datagram, and a checksum.
  • Because UDP is a connectionless protocol, there is no handshake with the destination. The source UDP simply passes each datagram to the IP address of the network layer and moves on to the next datagram. Incoming datagrams are received and forwarded to the application layer by the destination UDP port. UDP lacks a mechanism for retrieving lost datagrams.

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Performance of TCP vs. UDP

The advantage of UDP over TCP is that its lack of ‘acknowledgment’ allows for a continuous packet stream. Because a TCP connection always acknowledges a series of packets (whether it is entirely trustworthy or not), each negative acknowledgment in which a data packet is lost must be retransmitted.

UDP, on the other hand, avoids the added overheads of TCP transport, making it more efficient in terms of bandwidth and significantly less demanding of slow networks.

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TCP Ports: What Are They and How Do They Work?

  • TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a protocol that manages connections. Protocols are rules or standards that govern how data is transferred between networking devices.
  • TCP is known as a connection-oriented protocol because it first establishes a connection between receiving and sending devices before transmitting any data.
  • Before transferring data, TCP ports create connections. You can call a friend to tell them about a new movie or game, for example. You phone your friend’s number, and if she answers, she confirms that you are on the other end of the line. You can then begin telling her about the game.

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UDP Ports: What Are They and How Do They Work?

  • User Datagram Protocol is abbreviated as UDP. The connectionless nature of the User Datagram Protocol means that a host device can deliver data to a destination without first establishing a connection.
  • UDP ports are dependent on UDP/IP protocols. UDP ports are used by DNS (53), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (68), and Kerberos (88), which is used by gaming services.
  • Unlike TCP ports, UDP ports do not require a connection to be established before data can be transferred. So, if you wanted to notify a friend about a new movie that was inspired by the up port, you’d have to shout your message and hope your friend is nearby and can hear you.
  • Isn’t it a little dubious?

Your acquaintance is entirely responsible for getting the information you’re seeking to send. Your acquaintance may only hear parts and pieces or nothing at all because you have not yet established a connection.

  • The host sends data to UDP ports in packets (small segments) with no predefined destination in mind. Then it expects those packets to be received by the receiving device, which is untrustworthy because it does not guarantee that the data is received flawlessly. As a result, packets are not delivered to their intended destination, and data is lost. This is known as packet loss.

Applications for TCP

Applications for TCP

TCP are used for the following purposes:

  • It aids you in establishing a connection between various types of computers.
  • It is not dependent on the operating system.
  • There are numerous routing protocols supported.
  • It allows for inter-organizational communication.
  • It is capable of functioning independently.
  • A number of routing protocols are supported.

Applications for UDP

Applications for UDP

UDP is used for the following purposes:

  • UDP is widely used by time-critical applications and servers that respond to brief queries from a large number of clients.
  • UDP supports both packet broadcasts and multicasting for network transmission.
  • It’s also used in DNS, VoIP, and online gaming.

Advantages of TCP

TCP provides the following benefits:

  • It aids you in establishing a connection between various types of computers.
  • It is not affected by the operating system.
  • It supports a wide range of routing protocols.
  • It allows for inter-organizational communication.

Advantages of UDP

UDP provides the following benefits:

  • Broadcast and multicast transmission are both possible with UDP.
  • Every UDP packet has a checksum to aid with error detection.
  • Establishing and maintaining a connection is not always required for UDP.
  • A data stream with assured delivery can be more efficient than UDP transmission.


After reviewing the distinctions between TCP and UDP, it is clear that any organization that uses virtual communications can gain significantly from UDP. UDP not only avoids the transport traps and overcrowded networks that TCP is prone to, but it also provides exceptional speed for all of your streaming requirements. Furthermore, by enabling UDP for Lifesize, organizations gain improved workflows, cheaper overhead, and fewer interruptions all around, making this pairing a true win-win.

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