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TCP vs UDP Protocol

In this tutorial, we will be covering the differences between TCP and UDP; two protocols of the Network layer.

TCP is an abbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol.TCP is a connection-oriented protocol. This protocol mainly creates a virtual connection between two TCPs in order to send the data. This protocol also makes use of flow and error control mechanisms at the transport level.

TCP is a transport layer protocol. Also, TCP is a program-to-program protocol same as UDP. The TCP/IP mainly stands for Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol. This protocol is specifically designed as a model that offers high reliability and end-to-end byte stream over unreliable internetwork.

We can also say that the TCP adds connection-oriented and reliability features to the services of the IP.

The TCP connection is simply established with the help of a three-way handshake. Thus basically it is a process of initiating and acknowledging a connection. Once the establishment of connection, the transfer of data begins, and once the process of transmission is finished, the connection is terminated just by closing the established virtual circuit.

UDP is an abbreviation for User Datagram protocol.UDP is a connectionless and unreliable protocol. This protocol does not add up anything to the services of IP except the fact that this protocol provides process-to-process communication in spite of host-to-host communication.UDP protocol performs error checking in a very limited amount.

The User datagram protocol makes use of the simple method of transmission. UDP does not make use of implied hand-shaking dialogues for ordering, reliability, or data integrity. This protocol mainly assumes that error checking and correction is not important or performed in the application. In order to avoid the overhead of such processing at the network interface level. UDP is also compatible with packet broadcasts and multicasting.

Now it's time to take a look at the difference between TCP and UDP.

Difference between TCP and UDP

The differences between the TCP and UDP are given below in the table:

TCP UDP
TCP is a connection-oriented protocol. UDP is a Connectionless protocol.
This protocol rearranges the data packets in a specific order. There is no concept of ordering as because all the packets are independent of each other.
The header size of the TCP is 20 bytes. The header size of the UDP is 8 bytes.
The transmission control protocol(TCP) is a reliable protocol because it ensures the delivery of each data packet. The User datagram protocol is unreliable because it does not guarantee the delivery of data packets.
As TCP is a connection-oriented protocol which simply means that there is the need for the establishment of the connection before transmitting the data over the network. As UDP is a connectionless protocol thus there is no need for the establishment of the connection, and also there is no need to check whether the system is ready to receive the data or not.
It makes the use of handshake protocols such as SYN, SYN-ACK, ACK. There is no concept of handshaking.
This protocol performs the error checking and it also offers the recovery from the errors. There is no concept of error checking, but the UDP usually discards the erroneous packets.
The acknowledgment segments are present. No presence of acknowledgment segments.
TCP offers slow speed. UDP is faster than TCP
The TCP messages usually make their way across the internet from one computer to another. In this one program can send a lot of packets to the other computer.
The flow control mechanism is present in TCP thus sender cannot send too many packets to the receiver simultaneously. Absence of flow control mechanism.
Extensive error checking is offered by TCP as it provides the flow control as well as the acknowledgment of the data. A single error checking mechanism is provided by UDP and is used for checksums.
Retransmission of data packets is possible when using the TCP in case of the lost data packets. Retransmission is not possible when using the UDP.
This protocol is heavy in weight as compared to UDP. UDP is faster and more efficient than TCP.
This protocol mainly reads the data in the form of streams of bytes and also the message is transmitted to the segment boundaries. The UDP messages mainly contain the packets that were sent one by one. UDP also checks for integrity at the time of arrival.