What is UDP?

The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a transport layer protocol used by programs that operate on different devices across a network. It provides a high performance to the Internet Protocol host by offering the best effort datagram service. The User Datagram Protocol runs on an Internet Protocol sometimes described as UDP/IP program. Datagrams are the short packets that are transmitted by the User Datagram Protocol and Internet Protocol.

The UDP provides two services that facilitate its efficiency during the process of communication. The Port numbers are useful in differentiating the individual requests sent by the users while the Checksum is responsible for verification on whether the data arrived successfully to the destination.

The User Datagram Protocol coordinates with the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and is used for special purposes. Though TCP is prominent in the communications, UDP acts as an alternative occasionally. Latency is caused by the breaking down of bulk data sets to smaller packets. Some of the additional services such as reassembling and resending lost packets increase the data overhead mostly resulting in the delays.

The Transmission Control Protocol is often associated with latency, and hence the User datagram protocol works on the contrary. It is useful in transmitting the packets because of the light levels of latency and has a lower bandwidth overhead. However, it does not guarantee safe delivery of the packets to their destination. The reason is that during the transmission, the single packets take different paths between the sender and the receiver thus may get lost in the process.

However, the User Datagram Protocol is useful for critical levels of latency such as voice and video communications or gaming. In certain occasions, the program utilizes the forward error correction approach to improving the quality of video or audio. The network applications are prone to loss of information if the perceived quality is not affected adversely.

 Unlike the TCP, User Datagram Protocol can be used to improve the rate of transferring large data or files. The datagram header contains the checksum, size of the datagram, source port number and destination port number. The various applications can maintain their paths of transmitting data by the help of UDP port numbers.

The User Datagram Protocols are preferable especially for time sensitive applications. In such situations, the delayed packets may not be appropriate, and therefore the User Datagram Protocol will be responsible for the dropping packets and handling of large files. It is important to note that no security is provided by the UDP program which necessitates the applications to protect their privacy.