User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a Transport Layer protocol that is primarily used with applications that require low latency, but are loss-tolerant. UDP delivers faster communication speeds because it doesn't include the time consuming overhead of error correction, flow control, and connection oriented communication.

Unlike TCP, UDP sends datagrams as soon as they are encapsulated without any mechanisms for ensuring the successful receipt pf those datagrams. This is why UDP delivers what is known as connectionless and unreliable communication.

This is beneficial for applications such as voice, video, streaming services, and teleconference applications, since they are tolerant of a certain amount of errors, out of order packets, or even packet loss and latency.

Like TCP, UDP is one of the main protocols in the TCP/IP suite and complements the Internet Protocol (IP).