On the usability of transport protocols other than TCP: A home gateway and internet path traversal study

Runa Bari*, Michael Welzl, Gorry Fairhurst, Ahmed Mustafa Elmokashfi, Thomas Dreibholz, Stein Gjessing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Network APIs are moving towards protocol agility, where applications express their needs but not a static protocol binding, and it is up to the layer below the API to choose a suitable protocol. The IETF Transport Services (TAPS) Working Group is standardizing a protocol-independent transport API and offering guidance to implementers. Apple’s recent “Network.framework” is specifically designed to allow such late and dynamic binding of protocols. When the network stack autonomously chooses and configures a protocol, it must first test which protocols are locally available and which work end-to-end (“protocol racing”). For this, it is important to know the set of available options, and which protocols should be tried first: Does it make sense to offer unchecked payload delivery, as with UDP-Lite? Is a UDP-based protocol like QUIC always a better choice, or should native SCTP be tried? This paper develops answers to such questions via (i) a NAT study in a local testbed, (ii) bidirectional Internet tests, (iii) a large scale Internet measurement campaign. The examined protocols are: SCTP, DCCP, UDP-Lite, UDP with a zero checksum and three different UDP encapsulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107211
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Networks
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Supplementary Data S1. Supplementary Raw Research Data. This is open data under the CC BY license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


  • Internet
  • Protocol testing
  • SCTP
  • DCCP
  • UDP-lite
  • NAT
  • internet
  • UDP-Lite


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