With the ever-advancing communication methodologies, it sure is easy to overlook the details of this intricate communication web. This web is mainly driven by effectively working protocols, which dictate the nature of transmissions.
Among such protocols, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) are perhaps the most well-known. These protocols and their strategic selection can affect your communication network. The nature of this influence depends heavily on the preference. So UDP vs. TCP is always an important question.
This guide will walk you through all the major and minor aspects of these protocols, along with the significant differences in their methodologies. And by this end, you will know what serves your purpose better!
UDP vs. TCP: What are these protocols?
The OSI model, introduced around 1983, dictated a standard computer communication method. It relies heavily on protocols to do this job. The conceptual model consists of different layers that correspond with splitting the communication process into manageable portions where each layer handles another part of the communication.
The 4th layer is the transport layer responsible for transmitting data using the TCP and UDP protocols. These protocols dictate the methodology of delivering a message when systems communicate.
Let us look at each of these protocols in a bit more detail.
TCP vs. UDP – What is TCP?
The transmission control protocol, otherwise known as TCP, is connection-oriented. It is one of the defining constants in a communication network for data transmission.
TCP functions with the ideology of a connection. To exchange data between two entities, a connection is to be established first, which remains until the transmission completes. We use TCP, where reliability is an essential factor.
TCP vs. UDP: How does TCP work?
TCP is all about the connection. The protocol uses the 3-way handshake to establish this connection. The data under question can now be transferred.
Once the transmission completes, with the help of regular acknowledgment, the connection is closed, and error correction begins.
Main Features of TCP
The main features for data transmission using TCP are as follows:
- TCP values the reliability of transmitted data.
- Time out to detect lost packets.
- Retransmission is possible.
- Error Control.
- Connection is a byte stream.
- Ordered transfer.
- Full Duplex.
Pros and Cons of data transmission using TCP
|Advantages of TCP||Disadvantages of TCP|
|TCP provides support for routing protocols.||Does not support broadcast or multiclass mode of transmission.|
|It is platform-independent with a scalable client-server architecture.||Explicit conclusion request.|
|Uses congestion control policies and error control and recovery mechanisms.||The handshake procedure can slow down the transmission|
|Lower overhead||Not optimized for LAN and PAN|
UDP vs. TCP – What is UDP?
The User Datagram Protocol does not need to establish any connection for transmission. Further, no acknowledgments are required.
UDP works well with real-time communication for videos and DNS lookup. However, there are higher chances of data loss.
How does UDP work?
UDP supports a much simpler approach for data transmission. This protocol dictates that data is transferred between 2 entities without any connection. This dramatically improves the speed of the said protocol.
The source and destination, as well as the checksum and packet length, is mentioned in the header of the IP packet, which is then transmitted.
Main Features of UDP
The main features for data transmission using UDP are as follows:
- Suitable for applications where acknowledgment is not necessary.
- A more straightforward approach for data transfer.
- Less reliable.
- Not connection-oriented.
- Does not support error correction mechanisms.
Pros and Cons of UDP
|Advantages of UDP||Disadvantages of UDP|
|UDP offers a faster solution for data transfer.||Does not support error checking.|
|Supports broadcast and multicast transmissions.||Unreliable.|
|No need for connection establishment.||No acknowledgment mechanism.|
|Saves bandwidth||Packet loss|
Major differences between UDP vs TCP
Now, to understand what protocol is best to use for any situation we must look at the detailed analysis of the differences between the two approaches.
|TCP is a connection-oriented protocol.||UDP is a connectionless protocol.|
|Data transmission is quite reliable in TCP||Data transmission is not as reliable for UDP|
|Connection supports a byte stream.||Connection supports a message stream.|
|Ordered transfer is supported.||No particular order/sequence is present.|
|Transmission is much slower in TCP.||Transmission is faster in UDP.|
|Error checking and recovery mechanisms are present in TCP.||No error recovery mechanisms are present in UDP.|
|TCP supports a 20-byte header.||UDP supports an 8-byte header.|
|Acknowledgments are part of data transmission in TCP..||No acknowledgments are used for UDP transmission.|
|3-way handshake to set up the connection.||No handshake is needed.|
|Does not support broadcasting or multicasting.||Supports broadcasting or multicasting.|
|Detailed error checking methodologies.||Simple error check for checksum.|
|Flow control is present.||No flow control mechanism.|
|Used for critical applications such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc.||Used for real-time applications such as DNS, VoIP, DHCP, etc.|
And there you have it! Now you know all the essential information you need to choose the best data transmission approach for yourself. Want to learn more about networking devices and concepts? Check out our blog.