Network - Data unit

Table of Contents


A buffer in Networking is called a data unit.

When data is sent across a network, it is sent as thousands of small chunks called data unit, so that many different users can download the same data at the same time. If the requested data were sent as single big chunks, only one user could download one at a time, which obviously would make the application (such as the Web) very inefficient and not much fun to use.

In the OSI model of computer networking, a data unit has different terminology.

Layer Data Unit Name
layer 2 - the data link layer frame (ethernet)
layer 3 - the network layer packet (IP)
layer 4 - the transport layer segment (TCP) or datagram (UDP)

For a TCP/IP communication over Ethernet,

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