What is a connectionless protocol?
A connectionless protocol is a form of data transmission where an IT signal goes off automatically without determining whether the receiver is ready or even a receiver is present. The connectionless protocol is an alternative to some traditional connection-based forms of data transmission, which often involve setting up dedicated handshake or device connectivity checks.
On the Internet, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is an example of connection-based messaging. TCP is a traditional Internet protocol that arranges the transmission of data 'octets' between a given source and destination. However, TCP is not the only way to control Internet traffic. An alternative, called User Datagram Protocol (UDP), is a connectionless option that does not perform the same checks as TCP does when sending a message. Communication paradigms such as Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) use UDP.
While connection-based protocols may work better for some systems, a connectionless protocol is often sufficient for data delivery. Experts point out that if a few dropped packets of data go unnoticed by the recipients, UDP may be an acceptable protocol. UDP may also be preferred because of the lower overhead associated with implementing handshakes and other connection protocols. In addition, UDP and some other connectionless protocols can facilitate multiple transmission to a large number of recipients.
One way to think about a connectionless protocol is to use some kind of 'open signal' like the one used in radio transmissions. Connection-based protocols, on the other hand, can be more similar to a wired connection with a defined starting point tied to a specific destination.