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Acronym: User Datagram Protocol

UDP is a very light layer on top of IP which provides a datagram transport service between host ports on a network.

The protocol is documented in RFC 768 and provides two features on top of regular IP transport:

- A checksum to detect corruption in the packet body.

- A port number to differentiate datagrams destined for different services on the same host.

UDP is often used in applications where TCP is not a good fit. Some of these situations include:

- Embedded systems where resources are not available to support a full TCP stack.

- Latency sensitive applications like Voice over IP and network game play.

- Short messaging based applications where a stream transport is not needed.