Every internet user who has a computer is familiar with ports. Because, almost every application or game that you use on your computer almost always requires the input of port numbers to initiate the connection. For instance, when you are playing an online game, you need to put in the correct port number in order for it to connect to another player.
However, what do these port numbers actually mean? And why are there so many different types of ports? If you have been confused by them before and want answers as to what they really mean… Keep reading! In this article, we will explain what TCP and UDP ports are, as well as their functions.
What is a TCP Port?
TCP stands for Transmission control protocol, and it is a reliable connection-oriented protocol. When we talk about connection oriented protocols, we mean that they establish a connection between two endpoints before exchanging any data. TCP is a reliable protocol because it ensures that the data sent across the network is delivered without error.
A TCP Port is a packet that is used to send or receive data between two computers. There are many different types of TCP ports, and they are used to decide which type of data is being sent over the network. For example, let’s say you are playing an online game that requires you to be connected with another player.
You will need to input the correct port number in order to initiate the connection between your computer and another player. In most cases, ports are used to identify the type of service being used in a network environment. For example, a port 80 is usually associated with HTTP data transfers. Similarly, a port 25 is usually associated with SMTP data transfers. However, not all ports will work with every application or game.
What is a UDP Port?
UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. A UDP port is a virtual port that allows you to send and receive data using the UDP protocol. UDP is a connectionless protocol, which means that it does not require a connection to be established between two devices before data can be transferred. This makes UDP ideal for applications that need to send data without the overhead of setting up a connection.
A UDP Port is also a packet that is used to send or receive data between two computers. Although, it differs from a TCP Port in that it does not confirm that the data was received by the other computer.
This means that the data cannot be used to send large amounts of data. Essentially, the only way to send a large amount of data through a UDP port is to break it into smaller portions and send it via TCP.
In comparison to TCP ports, UDP ports are mainly used for real-time applications such as gaming or streaming. This is because they don’t require an acknowledgement of receipt like TCP ports do.
This makes it a lot more reliable when you’re playing an online game because you don’t need to wait for your opponent to acknowledge that they received your data. But, there is a bit of a downside to using UDP ports. This is because they are not really reliable when it comes to sending a lot of data.
How Are TCP and UDP Ports Used Together?
As we have mentioned, TCP and UDP ports are used to send data between two computers. However, TCP and UDP ports do not work together. You cannot use TCP and UDP ports to send data between two computers at the same time.
So, how do we send data between two computers if they don’t work together? Well, this is where something called port forwarding comes in. In order to understand how port forwarding works, let’s use the example of a game that requires you to use a TCP port and a game that requires you to use a UDP port.
Let’s say you want to play an online game that requires a TCP port. And you also want to play a game that requires a UDP port. In this situation, you will need to set up port forwarding on your router to send the TCP data through a UDP port, and vice versa. If you want to learn more about port forwarding, you can check out our other article.
Differences Between TCP and UDP Ports
There are two types of ports that your computer uses to communicate with other devices: TCP and UDP. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
TCP ports are used for more reliable communication, such as sending emails or browsing the web. UDP ports are used for less reliable communication, such as streaming video or audio.
The main difference between TCP and UDP ports is that TCP ports guarantee delivery of data, while UDP ports do not. This means that if you’re sending a file from your computer to another device, you’ll want to use a TCP port. However, if you’re streaming video or audio, you can use a UDP port, because it’s not as important if some of the data is lost along the way.
As we have mentioned, TCP and UDP ports are two different types of data packets. However, there are some key differences between TCP and UDP ports that you need to keep in mind before using them. Firstly, TCP ports are reliable when it comes to sending data. But, UDP ports are not reliable.
This is because UDP ports do not confirm that the data was received. Even though TCP ports are more reliable, UDP ports are used for real-time applications. This is because they do not require an acknowledgement of receipt like TCP ports do. Additionally, TCP ports are used to send data between two computers. Whereas UDP ports are used to send data between a computer and another device. This is mainly used for applications such as gaming or streaming.
As you can see, TCP and UDP ports are two types of data packets that are used to send and receive data between two computers. However, they do not work together. Instead, they use a type of technology called port forwarding to send data between two computers. In this article, we have explained what TCP and UDP ports are, as well as how they are used together. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what TCP and UDP ports are and how they work