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Exoprise Glossary

Packet Loss

What is Packet Loss?

Packet loss refers to transmitted data packets in data networks failing to reach their destination. This loss can be caused by multiple factors such as network congestion, hardware or software issues, and errors in the transmission process. Like the internet, in packet-switched networks, data is divided into packets for efficient transmission. They travel independently across the networks and reassemble upon reaching their destination.

Packet loss causes degraded performance and quality in networked applications. Some of the common causes of packet loss include:

Network Congestion: When high levels of traffic is experienced on the network, routers and switches may become overwhelmed causing packet loss.

Hardware Failures: Malfunctioning equipment such as routers, switches, and cables can cause packet loss.

Wireless Interference: Interference from other devices, physical obstacles, and signal attenuation can result in packet loss.

Software Issues: Bugs, misconfigurations, or limitations of network protocols can contribute to packet loss

Packet Discarding Policies: Some devices on the network may discard packets on purpose if they don’t meet a specific criteria.

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