Both sockets and Transport-Level Interface provide two modes of service: connection-mode and connectionless-mode.
Connection-mode service is circuit-oriented and enables the transmission of data over an established connection in a reliable, sequenced manner. It also provides an identification procedure that avoids the overhead of address resolution and transmission during the data transfer phase. This service is attractive for applications that require relatively long-lived, datastream-oriented interactions.
Connectionless-mode service is message-oriented and supports data transfer in self-contained units with no logical relationship required among multiple units. All information required to deliver a unit of data, including the destination address, is passed by the sender to the transport provider, together with the data, in a single service request. Connectionless-mode service is attractive for applications that involve short-term request/response interactions and do not require guaranteed, in-sequence delivery of data. It is generally assumed that connectionless transports are unreliable.