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UDP vs TCP VPN Review and Comparison

Trying to choose a proper VPN protocol you may spend hours searching for a perfect one. Luckily, VPN Unlimited offers many up-to-date VPN protocols that can be configured personally. 

To choose the right balance between security and speed, you need to know what protocol is supported by your device. By default, VPN Unlimited will use the optimal VPN protocol, but you can always go to application settings and check out all possible options. Go on reading to learn more about UDP and TCP VPN protocols, and learn why you should use one protocol over the other.

Shortly About UDP and TCP

In general, both protocols are widely used in today's networks. They allow you to guarantee the delivery of the message to the addressee and preserve the correct sequence of data transmission. At the same time, these protocols have some differences, which make them possible to use to solve different problems.

What is TCP?

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a network protocol that allows you not to lose data during transmission, asks for confirmation of receipt from the receiving side, and, if necessary, resends the data. Before starting to exchange data, this protocol needs to establish a connection between two hosts. The disadvantage of this protocol is the low data transfer rate because the execution of a reliable and orderly transfer takes more time than in the alternative UDP protocol.

What is UDP?

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is simpler. To transmit data, it does not need to establish a connection between the sender and the recipient. The information is transmitted without a preliminary check of the readiness of the receiving party. This makes the protocol less reliable - some pieces of data may be lost during transmission. But the data transfer rate for this transport protocol will be higher.

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UDP vs TCP: Security and Speed Difference

  • Reliability: In this case, TCP will be preferable, by acknowledging the receipt of data, resending if necessary, and using a timeout tool. The UDP protocol does not have such tools, and therefore, upon receipt, the sent data may not come completely.
  • Ordering: TCP is preferred because this protocol guarantees that data packets are transmitted in the exact order in which they were sent. In the case of UDP, this order is not followed.
  • Speed: UDP will already lead here, as the heavier TCP protocol will take longer to establish a connection, acknowledge receipt, resend data, etc.
  • Data transmission method: in the case of TCP, data is transmitted in streams, the boundaries of data fragments are not indicated. In the case of UDP, data is transmitted in the form of datagrams - the packet is checked for integrity by the receiving side only when a message is received. 

Fast Facts on UDP vs TCP

TCP Protocol UDP Protocol 
TCP guarantees that data packets will be delivered Delivery of data packets is not guaranteed
Great error-checking mechanisms Basic error checking mechanism
More secure than UDP Faster and simpler than TCP
Lost data packets can be retransmitted Lost packets are not retransmitted
Doesn’t support Broadcasting Supports Broadcasting

UDP vs TCP Conclusion

So, how to find the perfect balance between speed and security? We recommend choosing TCP if accurate and verifiable data transmission is required - for example, sending photos, or correspondence between users. UDP is needed for communication in a voice format, or when transmitting streaming video, for example, from webcams or IP cameras.

FAQ on UDP vs TCP Comparison

UDP vs TCP, which one is better?

Is UDP better for gaming than TCP?

Does Spotify use TCP or UDP?

I have some additional questions. Where can I get help?

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Check out our UDP vs TCP VPN protocols review and download our solution to use both whenever you need them!