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Connectionless protocol

Connectionless protocol definition

Connectionless protocols, such as the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), send data without establishing a dedicated end-to-end connection. They transmit information in discrete packets independently. This ensures speed but does not guarantee delivery or order.

See also: user datagram protocol, connection-oriented protocol, link-state routing protocol

The history of connectionless protocol

It began with the development of packet-switched networks in the 1960s and 1970s. One such example was ARPANET. A major milestone was the introduction of the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) in 1980. Jon Postel designed it as a fast, efficient alternative to the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

What’s their difference? While TCP ensures reliable data transfer, UDP sends data without such guarantees. UDP is faster but less reliable.

As the internet expanded in the late 20th century, connectionless protocols, like online gaming and streaming media, became integral for applications needing speed over reliability.