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What is TCP or UDP? Which is better?

What is TCP or UDP? Which is better?


TCP and UDP are the two protocols that define the exchange of information over the Internet. They are designed at the top of the IP protocol and share many similarities, but the differences in the end make them suitable for different purposes. These two protocols are the most widely used for communicating with Internet users. Both protocols have tasks to be performed, but they perform them in different ways.

These protocols are used to transmit pieces of data, also called packets. Data packets are sent to an IP address, whether you are using UDP or TCP. These packets are treated equally as they travel from your device to the destination.


All your data is transmitted from your device to the servers through these network protocols. These protocols are used while watching movies online, sending emails, or browsing the web. Data packets include the IP address of the receiver and sender, the data you are sending, and some data that shows the end of the data packet.

TCP and UDP differ from each other based on the movement of data packets. TCP and UDP transfer data packets from your computer to various routers using ports so that the data packets reach their intended destination. Packets are also sent to the receiver’s IP address by these protocols.

What is TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)?

TCP is more widely used than UDP. When you launch a web page on your computer, your system sends TCP packets to the server address. These packets are a request to send website information and data. The server interacts by sending a series of TCP packets. The browser shares packets in such a way that all packets are connected, and shows you a web page on your device.

  • When you go to any other link on that web page or open another website, you send data packets to the database, and your server sends other TCP packets. TCP is not a one-way communication. All data packets are sent from the browser to the server, and the server sends the data packets back to your browser.
  • The difference is that the user sends request packets, and the server responds by sending appropriately formatted packets of data to create a working web page. TCP lists all packets correctly so that the user receives them in order. When the recipient receives a package, the sender receives a confirmation. If the recipient does not receive a response, it is necessary to resend the request since the package was not received.
  • The quality of the TCP is high. Packages are reviewed for errors to ensure that the request is adequately met. TCP packets are monitored to ensure that no intermediate information is lost. Packages are also tested for corruption, and for this reason, you accept files completely if you copy them using TCP, even with network problems.
  • When the other side is completely offline, the system will actually stop trying and indicate an error that the network with the remote host cannot be configured.

What is User Datagram Protocol (UDP)?

UDP works similar to TCP in that it also transmits data packets, but UDP does not do any error checks, it leaves the reliability factor behind and makes it easy and simple. It fetches packets in a proper pattern, sends acknowledgments, and requests to resend takes a lot of time due to which slows down the whole process.

  • UDP shares data quickly by eliminating extra steps. The sender sends packets to the receiver using UDP. It does not matter whether the recipient received it or not. It continues to send data packets. If some data packets are lost on the way, UDP will not be able to resend those data packets.
  • There is no way to know if the recipient has received all the packets, and any misplaced packets cannot be retrieved either. It may sound like a loss, but it makes UDP faster than TCP. UDP should not be used in communications where performance is a serious concern.
  • Use UDP only when you need high speed, but you may lose some packets on the way. Use UDP for online gaming, broadcasting, and video conferencing.


When you have a file VPN, all the authentication options may appear a bit misleading. A useful add-on for any VPN client can be used to switch between the two protocols. The first is the OpenVPN UDP protocol, and the second is the OpenVPN TCP protocol. It pays to have a stable VPN connection every time. It’s generally best to stick with UDP as the fastest, funniest, and most trustworthy option

TCP slows down the connection, and can sometimes depend on certain network variables, with distance being one of the key elements. The further away you are physically from your VPN server, the more TCP packets you need to carry, and the slower your connection will be. You may not see any performance loss when the server is nearby, despite having a more secure link.

Final verdict

It is up to the programmer how the application uses TCP or UDP, and what the application needs the most depends on his choice. Many applications need TCP debugging and robustness. However, some applications want to lower the cost of UDP and speed. Various packet sniffing software such as Wireshark can help you understand the transmission of data packets.

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