The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) are two different types of protocols that are used for the transmission of data from the origin to destination across networks or the Internet. They can be distinguished according to their characteristics of transmitting data.

Protocol connection set up

The Transmission Control Protocol is connection oriented and acknowledges the packets that are to be sent back to their origin. The various processes that the TCP program has to encounter during automatic retransmission cause delays and therefore becomes less efficient in its operations. The User Datagram Protocol is a connectionless protocol which means that the communication of the UDP program is datagram oriented.

The transmitted datagrams can either arrive at their destination without being assembled. It does not guarantee a safe delivery of the packet data. It may be convenient in other situations where a small percentage of the lost packets are preferred to the overhead associated with the TCP program.

Transfer rate

The Transmission Control Protocol handles a variety of processes during transmission of the data and can, therefore, be slower in its operations compared to the UDP. The reason is that the TCP program will have to determine the data that needs to be retransmitted by offering an error correction.

It also has to maintain the flow of data to be constant until the initial packets have been transferred successfully to the destination. It assembled the packages and delivered them in the form of a file.

The User Datagram Protocol offers high speed though may have its downsides too. It is effective in streaming media such as audio and video. The reason why it is faster in its operations is that there is no form of error correction or flow of control.

Therefore, it means that errors will be present during the transmission of data. It also means that the User Datagram Protocol is majorly concerned with speed and that the quality of images displayed during streaming of media may be perceived to be of low quality.

Reliability and Data quantity

The Transmission Control Protocol is reliable and efficient in its operations because it manages the delivery of all the packets and automatically retransmits the lost data. The User Datagram Protocol is not suitable for sending valuable information such as database information or web pages as it does not guarantee safe delivery of packets.

It does not acknowledge the provision of packages the fact that it is concerned with speed. It transmits small to moderate quantities of packet data while the TCP program sends small to significant amounts of information from the origin to the destination.