User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

UDP is a protocol that’s used when you either don’t need reliable transport, or can’t afford the costs of reliable traffic transport.  Reliable packet delivery can be slow, and some applications can’t wait to send subsequent packets if it’s waiting on an acknowledgement from the other end.  For example voice audio RTP packets must be sent immediately without waiting otherwise the audio that’s carried on those voice packets will arrive out of order or late and cause serious degraded voice quality problems.

UDP packets are considered connectionless and do not have as much information inside their headers making this type of traffic ideal for applications that are sensitive to packet loss or delay.

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