TCP vs UDP VPNs – Which One Is Better?


If you use a VPN the type of connection protocol used is unlikely to be something that keeps you up at night. However, have you ever had a slow VPN connection? If so, maybe you should think about the type of connection you use a little more!

The type of connection protocol you use can make a difference to the speeds you receive and the reliability of your connection. As such, if you are having issues with your network speeds when using a VPN, a switch in the type of connection protocol you use could be just the thing to sort it out.

This article will compare TCP vs UDP VPN connections and try to help you make a good decision about which protocol to use.

What is a TCP VPN?

A TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) VPN connection is generally the most reliable type of VPN connection. This is because for every packet of data that is sent, your computer will wait for confirmation that the packet has arrived (or not arrived) before sending or resending the packet.

This makes it reliable as it is guaranteed that every packet of data will reach its destination. Of course, the downside is that this waiting can mean that it is slightly slower than using UDP.

The second benefit to TCP is that it will often be more likely to work in firewalled networks, such as your work network, due its use of common ports.

What is a UDP VPN?

A UDP (User Datagram Protocol) VPN is generally the fastest type of VPN connection. It is often the default connection type used by VPN companies. Unlike a TCP VPN connection, it does not require confirmation of packets before sending the next one. While this can make it less reliable, it does mean that it is usually faster.

If you are wanting to stream media over the internet, play games, or listen to music, you should consider using a UDP connection as the faster connection is needed for this type of web use.

TCP vs UDP VPNs - Wrapping Up

Both TCP and UDP connections have their pros and cons and ultimately, the best one for you will depend on what you value most. If you value speed then you may find that TCP is a little slow and you should go for UDP.

On the other hand if reliability is the most important thing for you, then you should choose a TCP VPN connection. This is likely to be especially effective if you connect to a network geographically nearby to where you are as you will be less likely to experience significant speed loss.

A final good idea could be to quite simply try both TCP and UDP. If you experience significantly better (or worse) speeds using one type of connection rather than the other, then perhaps that is the one that you should use!

Top VPNs That Support TCP & UDP
NordVPN Video on TCP & UDP VPNs (Sorry About The Music!)

Hopefully, you have found this article useful. If you have any questions, please ask in the connects section below!

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