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In this paper, we analyze the throughput and energy efficiency performance of user datagram protocol (UDP) using linear, binary exponential, and geometric backoff algorithms at the link layer (LL) on point-to-point wireless fading links. Using a first-order Markov chain representation of the packet success/failure process on fading channels, we derive analytical expressions for throughput and energy efficiency of UDP/LL with and without LL backoff. The analytical results are verified through simulations. We also evaluate the mean delay and delay variation of voice packets and energy efficiency performance over a wireless link that uses UDP for transport of voice packets and the proposed backoff algorithms at the LL. We show that the proposed LL backoff algorithms achieve energy efficiency improvement of the order of 2-3 dB compared to LL with no backoff, without compromising much on the throughput and delay performance at the UDP layer. Such energy savings through protocol means will improve the battery life in wireless mobile terminals.