What are the Differences Between TCP and UDP Protocols?
TCP guarantees a reliable delivery of data, preventing duplicate packets or out-of-order delivery. However, due to the overhead of TCP packets, it is not well suited for time sensitive transmissions such as voice and video. UDP does not guarantee packet delivery and therefore sends much less overhead data than TCP. This makes UDP more well suited for time sensitive transmissions over the internet.
TCP has the ability to detect dropped and duplicated packets through packet ACK (Acknowledgement) packets. UDP uses “traceroute” commands to detect dropped packets. For example, ‘tracert’ sends a series of UDP packets to a destination host with increasing TTL (Time-To-Live) values. If the first hop router does not send back an ACK packet, it is considered to be an unreachable host by following routers.
The Disadvantages of Running Applications Over TCP for Developers
TCP is slower than UDP because there are many steps involved in establishing a TCP connection and this process involves opening and closing of packets. One of the biggest disadvantages for developers is that, when you run your application over TCP, all other applications will have to go through the same steps which can be very time consuming. Some disadvantages for developers include the fact that the application will not exit and you will have to manually close or kill it. TCP connection is also not persistent, meaning that you cannot start your application on one computer and run it on another computer over a TCP connection. This is because TCP requires that you perform certain steps in order to establish the connection, before any data can be exchanged.
While running your application over UDP can provide the developer with a lot of benefits, one of the biggest disadvantages for developers is that there are no steps involved with establishing a UDP connection, therefore no other applications will have to go through the same steps. This means that your application will not exit and you will not have to manually close or kill the application and it is persistent, meaning that you can start your application on one computer and run it on another computer over a UDP connection.
How to Choose Between TCP and UDP as a Developer
As a developer, your application might require different ways in order to run it. In some situations, you may want to choose TCP, while in others you may choose UDP. For example, when running a game that requires real time information from the server and requires an immediate response from the server, you should use UDP in order to have better performance. On the other hand, if your application requires a reliable connection to provide information between two computers, you should use TCP.
This article will provide a detailed explanation of port numbers and their applications.
Port Numbers are a series of numbers in the range from 0 to 65,535 that designate different services on your computer. These services are defined by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Mapped ports, or ports that are shared by multiple services and applications, are defined by your operating system.
By default, ports numbers in Windows run from 1 through 2000. Ports 2000 through 3999 are defined as unused. Ports 4000 to 49999 are considered “private” ports. Ports 50000 to 65535 are considered “well-known ports”, so they may be used by applications and services that have been approved by the IANA.
Port numbers start at 0 and increase in numerical order, with each number representing a different server. Ports 0 through 1023 are “well-known ports”, or commonly used by several applications and services. Ports 1024 through 49151 are considered “registered ports”, while ports 49152 through 65535 are considered “dynamic ports”.
Why Developers Might Choose to Run Applications Over UDP Instead of TCP
When running an application that requires a faster response time, such as voice over IP (VOIP) services or video conferencing where it is important not to lose data, you need to run the application over UDP. This is because UDP provides better performance than TCP because it does not require any setup time. UDP is a connection-less protocol, so there is no wait time to set up a connection before transferring data. However, when the application does not require such a fast response time, TCP can be used because all data will eventually be received. This means that UDP should only be used when you are sure all packets will reach their destination.