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What is the full form of UDP

UDP: User Datagram Protocol

UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. It is a Transport Layer Protocol, which is a part of the Internet Protocol Suite and an alternative communication protocol to Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Both UDP and TCP are transparent layers protocols which are used on the Internet or run on the top of the Internet Protocol (IP) and commonly known as UDP/IP and TCP/IP, respectively.

Out of these two, the UDP is the simplest transport layer protocol designed to send data over the Internet. It picks the datagram from the network layer and attaches the header then forwards it to the user.

UDP Full Form

Characteristics of UDP:

  • It is a fast, unreliable, and stateless protocol that makes it suitable for use with applications that can tolerate lost data.
  • It can be used for transaction-based protocols, such as DNS or Network Time Protocol NTP.
  • It can be used for settings where many clients are connected and where real-time error correction is not must, such as gaming, voice calls, or video conferencing, and streaming videos.
  • It is a connectionless protocol as it doesn?t need a virtual circuit before transferring the data.
  • It offers minimal transport service, in-order delivery is not certain, and a congestion control mechanism is also not provided.

Furthermore, UDP uses headers to transfer data over connections. Its headers contain a set of parameters called fields. A UDP header has four fields which are as follows:

  1. Source Port: It is a 2 Byte field that tells the port number of a source.
  2. Destination Port: It is also a 2 Byte long filed that tells the port number of the destination.
  3. Length: It is the total length of the UDP, including the header and the data. It is a 16-bits field.
  4. Checksum: It is a 2 Byte long field that is used to check errors, e.g., it is used in IPv6 and sometimes in IPv4.

How UDP Works:

UDP sends a datagram (data unit) from one computer to another using the Internet Protocol. UDP encapsulates the data in a UDP packet and adds its header information to the packet. The data comprises source port, destination port, the packet length, and a checksum. After the UPD packets are encapsulated in an Internet Protocol packet, they start moving to their destinations.

Applications of UDP:

  • It is used for simple request-response communication where data is less and which require one response for one request, and not much concerned with flow and error control. e.g., DNS
  • UDP can be used for multicasting as it supports packet switching.
  • It can be used by routing protocols such as RIP and OSPF as they transmit less data.
  • It is used by Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) to send small files.
  • It is used by multicasting and broadcasting applications.
  • It can be used by streaming media like video conferencing as they prefer speed over reliability.
  • Chatting, online games, and similar real-time applications use UDP.
  • Management protocols like SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), and Bootp or DHCP also use UDP
  • Furthermore, there are various protocols that use UDP, such as Kerberos, Network Time Protocol (NTP), Network News Protocol (NNP), etc.

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