Messages: Packets, Frames, Datagrams, and Cells

Many networking technologies are based on packet switching, which involves the creation of small chunks of data to be sent over a network. Even though packet appears in the name of this method, the data items sent between networked devices are most generically called messages. Packet is one of a variety of similar words that are used in different contexts to refer to messages sent from one device to another.

In some cases, the different terms can be very useful, because the name used to refer to a particular message can tell you something about what the message contains, as you will see shortly. In particular, different message names are usually associated with protocols and technologies operating ...

Get TCP/IP Guide now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.