According to 7 Layers of the OSI Model, IP is located at layer 3 (Network), while TCP and UDP are located on layer 4 (Transport).

Just for the sake of curiosity, why the combination of "TCP/IP" term is more popular than "UDP/IP"?

I've been searching on internet about this, however the only site that uses UDP/IP term is http://searchmicroservices.techtarget.com/definition/UDP-User-Datagram-Protocol

Both UDP and TCP run on top of the Internet Protocol (IP) and are sometimes referred to as UDP/IP or TCP/IP.

Btw, I'm not talking about the difference between TCP vs UDP and why TCP is more popular instead of UDP.

I'm just curious why the combination of "TCP/IP" term is more popular than "UDP/IP"?

It's common to hear about "TCP/IP" term but not "UDP/IP" term right? Any idea why?




  • probably bcs of HTTP (aka the WWW). – Ronnie Royston Jun 25 '17 at 13:36
  • You are now edging into asking a question that will solicit primarily opinion-based answers, and that is off-topic here. – Ron Maupin Jun 25 '17 at 14:22
  • @RonMaupin, this is not about TCP vs UDP. diffen.com/difference/TCP_vs_UDP But my question was why "TCP/IP" term is more popular than "UDP/IP"? It's common to hear about "TCP/IP" term but not "UDP/IP" right? – Charlotte Russell Jun 25 '17 at 14:25
  • I understand that, and the answer to that particular question is going to generate primarily opinion-based answers. There are various reasons why that is more popular, but there is no real single reason. – Ron Maupin Jun 25 '17 at 14:27
  • @RonMaupin, nevermind found the answer. It's not an opinion actually. It's a fact. TCP/IP is actually a model, just like OSI model. That's why the TCP/IP term is common and popular, not like UDP/IP because there is no such UDP/IP Model. Reference: omnisecu.com/tcpip/tcpip-model.php – Charlotte Russell Jun 25 '17 at 14:37

There's many IP protocols, including TCP and UDP among others. See this list for reference: List of IP protocol numbers

Some are rarely (or never) used, why others are widely used.

Their usage depend on their usefulness.

UDP provide a fast, but unreliable, mean to transfer data. A typical use is for audio and video streaming, where re-sending a missed packet is not useful, since, if you missed an image in a movie there's no point to displaying it anymore

TCP provide a reliable connection, and handle error and retransmission of lost packet. This is vital to exchange of data the must reach the destination intact.

So there's more use case of TCP than UDP, but the latter is still widely used.


Historical reasons: TCP/IP was the initial combination for the Internet Protocol. We are talking about around 1974-75. UDP came to life in 1980. By that time, people already talked about TCP/IP and meant the Internet Protocol using TCP.


TCP and IP were and still are considered the core protocols of the IP suite, with TCP also preceding UDP by far. The suite's origins were about recreating the former environment with serial lines over a packet oriented network and a TCP socket pretty closely resembles that.


Actually it depends on your need in the Internet. If you always use Internet applications which need reliable and connection-oriented service such as Web, File transfer, E-Mail, Remote Terminal access and so on, TCP protocol is the best protocol in your needs.

Because, TCP protocol serves connection-oriented and reliable connection for applications who use it. That means your data will always reach the destination(defined in IP header) with no loss. These task are accomplished by Sequence number field, Acknowledgment number field and Flag bits inside the TCP header.

As a result, if you use applications which need TCP protocol for transporting, TCP/IP is more popular than UDP/IP from your perspective. If someone uses applications which don't need realiable or connection-oriented service, from his perspective UDP/IP is more popular than TCP/IP.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.