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April 10, 2017updated 27 Oct 2023 7:33am

What is UDP?

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is an alternative communications protocol to Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

By James Nunns

User Datagram Protocol, otherwise known as UDP, is used to establish low-latency and loss tolerating connections for applications on the Internet.

UDP is an alternative to the Transmission Control Protocol, although it is still considered a communications protocol.

By using UDP, computer applications are able to send messages, datagrams, to other hosts on an Internet Protocol network. It works by creating a connectionless transmission model that requires a minimum protocol mechanism.

What is UDP suitable for?

The UDP is one of the core members of the Internet protocol suite, a conceptual model and set of communications protocols that specifies how data should be packeted, addressed, transmitted, routed, and received.

David P. Reed is credited with designing the protocol, which was formally defined in RFC 768.

The term datagram is used to describe a basic transfer unit that is associated with a packet-switched network.

The most suitable use cases for UDP are those where both error checking and correction are either not necessary or are performed in the application.

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