Technology, Data Communication Terms, Glossary and Dictionary
A packet, in data networking, is one unit of binary data formatted for transmission on a network. To improve communication performance and reliability, each message sent between two network devices is often subdivided into packets by the underlying hardware and software. Packet formats generally include a header, the body containing the message data (also known as the payload), and sometimes a footer (also known as the trailer). The packet header lists the origin and destination of the packet and often indicates the length of the message data. The packet footer contains data that signifies the end of the packet. Both the packet header and footer may contain error-checking information.