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Written By Albert Roy

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Transport Layer Protocol

The success of any network depends on the protocols that it uses. These protocols form the foundation of how data is transmitted over a network. In this article, we’ll explore two of the most important transport layer protocols – Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). We’ll look at how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, and why they are so important for any successful network.

What are TCP and UDP?

The Transport Layer Protocol, or TCP, is a set of communication rules that govern how data is exchanged between computer systems over the internet. The Transmission Control Protocol is responsible for ensuring that all data packets are properly delivered and received in the correct order.

The User Datagram Protocol, or UDP, is another Transport Layer Protocol that is commonly used for real-time applications such as streaming audio or video. Unlike TCP, UDP does not guarantee delivery of data packets, which makes it more efficient but also less reliable.

How do they work?

The transport layer is responsible for providing end-to-end communication services for applications. It is the layer that provides reliable or unreliable delivery of data from one process to another. The most common transport layer protocol is TCP, which provides reliable, ordered delivery of data. UDP is another transport layer protocol that provides best-effort delivery of data.

What’s the difference between TCP and UDP?

There are two types of Internet Protocol (IP) traffic. They are Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

TCP is connection-oriented. That means that you have to establish a connection with the other computer before you can start sending data. The advantage of this is that it guarantees that the data will be delivered in order and correctly. The disadvantage is that it’s slower because of all the handshaking that goes on between the two computers.

UDP is connectionless. That means you can start sending data without first establishing a connection with the other computer. The advantage of this is that it’s much faster than TCP. The disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that the data will be delivered in order or correctly.

So, when should you use TCP and when should you use UDP? It depends on what you need. If you need guaranteed delivery, then use TCP. If you need speed, then use UDP.

What is a connection?

A connection is a communication between two devices. The transport layer protocol is responsible for the delivery of messages between these two devices. There are two types of transport layer protocols: connectionless and connection-oriented. Connectionless protocols do not establish a connection before sending data, while connection-oriented protocols do.

The TCP 3 way handshake

The TCP 3 way handshake is a process that is used to establish a connection between two computers. The handshake consists of three steps:

1. The first step is for the initiator (the computer that wants to establish the connection) to send a SYN packet to the receiver (the computer that the initiator wants to connect to).

2. The second step is for the receiver to respond with a SYN-ACK packet. This packet acknowledges the receipt of the SYN packet and also includes its own SYN sequence number.

3. The third and final step is for the initiator to respond with an ACK packet. This packet acknowledges the receipt of the SYN-ACK packet and also includes the receiver’s SYN sequence number.

Once all three steps have been completed, a connection has been established and data can start flowing between the two computers.

UDP messages, datagrams and packets

UDP messages are sent as datagrams, which are essentially packets of data. Each datagram has a header that includes information about the source and destination of the message, as well as other control information. The data portion of the datagram contains the actual payload of the message.

When a UDP message is sent, it is divided into one or more datagrams. Each datagram is then encapsulated in an IP packet and sent to the destination. When the destination receives the packet, it decapsulates it and reassembles the datagrams into the original message.

UDP is a simple protocol that does not provide any guaranteed delivery or error correction. This means that UDP messages can be lost or corrupted in transit. However, UDP is often used for applications where loss is acceptable, such as streaming audio or video.


Transport layer protocols are important components of any network and they ensure the reliable delivery of data. They provide a secure communication between two hosts and facilitate efficient data transfer across networks. We have discussed in this article some widely used transport layer protocol such as TCP, UDP, and SCTP, their features and how they work. With so many options available for selecting the right transport layer protocol for your network, it is important to understand each one before making an informed decision about which one best meets your needs.

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