network packets

Network Packets


Network packet is a part of a message that is sent over the network…

What is a Network Packet?

Data that is sent over the network is called a “message” and packets are subparts of messages. Data sent over the network part by part thanks to packets, not as a whole. This situation provides flexibility when transferring the data. This ensures that the remainder of the message is successfully transmitted in cases such as when the internet connection is lost.

network packets

We can explain the network packets giving an example from a real life scenario:Let’s assume that message is a flowing water over a canal. Then assume that packets are water molecules.  How the water stops when you hinder the flow, you can stop the packet traffic with a block. After the hinder is gone, water goes on the flow. Same thing is valid for packet traffic. When you remove the block from packet traffic, packets go on the transfer where they left off. (If the right configurations are setted.)

Parts of Network Packets

Packets that transfer over network are being 3 parts:

  • Packet Header
  • Packet Payload
  • Trailer

Packet Header

Packet Header identifies the data in the packet. Packet Header includes source IP address, target IP address, packet protocol and packet number.

  • Source IP Address: The IP address of sender.
  • Target IP Address: The IP address of the receiver.
  • Protocol: Protocol of the data sent over network. This part holds information to identify type of data such as image, video or text.
  • Packet Number: The package number consists of 2 parts. First part includes all packet numbers and the second part includes the number of current packets. If data transmission stops for some reason, it continues where it left off thanks to the second part of Packet Number.

Packet Payload

Packet Payload is the actual data and its size can be 48 byte between 4 kb.

Packet Trailer

Packet Trailer holds the “end of the packet” information. Receiver understands the packet is over thanks to the Packet Trailer.

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