Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits. If you log in or create an account, your edits will be attributed to your username, along with other benefits. Anti-spam check. Do not fill this in!== Definition == A '''packet-switched network''' means that [[data]] [[transmit]]ted over the [[network]] is split up into small chunks, or "[[packet]]s." == Overview == In packet-switched systems, the [[information]] is broken down into smaller pieces called “[[packet]]s” using a [[digital]] process. Each [[packet]] contains a small part of the [[message content]] along with [[call-identifying information]] called a “[[header]]” that indicates the [[origination]] and [[destination]] points of the [[information]]. The packet-switched mode is the signal transmission technology used in all [[Internet]] communications. Packet switching is considered a more efficient use of a [[network]] than [[circuit switching]] because the same line can be used for multiple communications simultaneously. Unlike "circuit-switched" networks such as the [[public switched telephone network]] ([[PSTN]]), a packet-switched network is "connectionless." In other words, a dedicated end-to-end transmission path (or circuit) does not need to be opened for each [[transmission]]. Rather, each [[router]] calculates the best [[routing]] for a [[packet]] at a particular moment in time, given current [[traffic]] patterns, and sends the [[packet]] to the next [[router]]. Thus, even two [[packet]]s from the same [[message]] may not travel the same physical path through the [[network]]. This mechanism is referred to as "[[dynamic routing]]." When [[packet]]s arrive at the destination point, they must be reassembled, and [[packet]]s that do not arrive for whatever reason must generally be re-sent. This system allows [[network]] resources to be used more efficiently, as many different communications can be [[routed]] simultaneously over the same [[transmission]] facilities. On the other hand, the inability of the sending [[computer]] under such a "best effort"<ref>In a ''best effort'' delivery system, [[router]]s are designed to "drop" [[packet]]s when [[traffic]] reaches a certain level. These dropped [[packet]]s must be resent, which to the [[end user]] is manifested in the form of delay in receiving the [[transmission]].</ref> [[routing system]] to ensure that sufficient [[bandwidth]] will be available between the two points creates difficulties for services that require constant [[transmission rate]]s, such as [[streaming]] video and voice applications. == References == <references /> == See also == * [[Public switched telephone network]] [[Category:Technology]] [[Category:Internet]] [[Category:Definition]] Summary: Please note that all contributions to the The IT Law Wiki are considered to be released under the CC-BY-SA Cancel Editing help (opens in new window) Retrieved from "https://itlaw.wikia.org/wiki/Packet-switched_network"