What is the difference between UDP and TCP?

When devices communicate over the Internet, they use one of two types of protocols:

TCP – Transmission Control Protocol or
UDP – User Datagram Protocol.

Both TCP and UDP are built on top of the Internet Protocol (IP) that send bits of data, known as packets, to and from IP addresses. Whether these packets are sent using TCP or UDP, they are treated the same as they bounce through different servers from your IP address to the destination site’s.

While both these protocols do the same job, they go about it in very different ways. TCP is more concerned about accuracy. It allows devices to send and receive an ordered and error-checked stream of packets. UDP is more concerned with speed. It streams information faster by eliminating the error-checking.

TCP, UDP and OpenVPN

OpenVPN, is one of the protocol’s that DigibitVPN is built upon for the Android & Windows App’s, OpenVPN allows you to choose whether you would prefer to use TCP or UDP for your VPN connection.

DigibitVPN’s default is to use UDP simply because it is faster. As UDP does not use TCP’s error correction mechanism, this speeds up the connection and reduces latency. This is why we advise anyone that is trying to stream a video or play games online use UDP. UDP-1194 is the default port for OpenVPN.

However, if you have not been able to connect using UDP or if you are on an unstable network (or if you simply want a more stable connection) we encourage you to switch to TCP and connect again. To use TCP with your OpenVPN service, connect through port TCP-443.

Occasionally one of the ports (1194 for UDP and 443 for TCP) will be blocked, which can prevent you from connecting to the Internet via OpenVPN. In this case, switching from one protocol to another will allow you to connect. you can easily switch between TCP & UDP on our Android & Windows clients by clicking the three lines menu at the top left of the Android app.

However, unless there is a concrete reason to change protocols, DigibitVPN recommends maintaining the default connection via UDP.


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By | 2019-05-30T09:54:30+00:00 September 7th, 2018|Support, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized|