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UDP Network Communication

Last Modified: March 20, 2017

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) provides a means for communicating short packets of data to one or more recipients.

Because UDP does not guarantee successful and proper delivery, use UDP to send short, non-critical messages to one or more recipients. For example, an application might send informative data to a recipient frequently enough that a few lost segments of data are not problematic.

You can use UDP to send datagrams between processes or processors without establishing a connection between the sender and the receiver. A datagram is a basic data transfer packet that contains the data you want to transmit and a header that indicates the source and destination address.

Because UDP does not establish a connection between sender and receiver, UDP does not guarantee successful delivery of the data you send. Additionally, if you send data in multiple packets, they may not arrive at the destination in the order you sent them. For more reliable network communication, you can use TCP. However, UDP transfers data with lower latency because it does not require the overhead of error checking and correction that TCP does.

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