Term Description
UDP UDP (User Datagram Protocol, RFC 768) is a communications protocol, an alternative to TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), and uses the Internet Protocol (IP) to actually get a data units (datagrams) from one network node to another.

UDP does not provide the service of dividing a message into packets (unlike TCP) and reassembling it at the other end. Specifically, UDP doesn't provide sequencing of the packets that the data arrives in.

UDP is a stateless protocol, meaning it doesn't acknowledge that packets being sent have been received. For this reason, the UDP protocol is typically used for streaming media, where a lost packet should not stop the transmission of data, or for simple applications where very little processing power is a requirement. TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) uses UDP as well.

Related: TCP, SCTP, DCCP
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