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What is a Packet?

Published on January 11, 2021 · Updated on January 11, 2021
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By Mark Drake
Manager, Developer Education
What is a Packet?

Packets are the basic units of data transmitted through a TCP/IP network. Originally conceived as a way to transmit data without a pre-established connection, packets make dynamic data transference possible.

Packet data falls into two categories: control information (source and destination network addresses, sequence information, and error detection codes), and user data (the content of the message itself).

To learn more about packets, check out our article, “An Introduction to Networking Terminology, Interfaces, and Protocols.”


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About the authors
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Manager, Developer Education

Technical Writer @ DigitalOcean

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