Network - Payload


The payload is the part of transmitted data that is the actual intended message. The payload excludes any headers or metadata sent solely to facilitate payload delivery.

The term is borrowed from transportation, where “payload” refers to the part of the load that pays for transportation.

The most common usage of the term is in the context of message protocols, to differentiate the protocol overhead from the actual data.


For example, a JSON web service response might be:

      "message":"Hello, world!"


  • The string Hello, world! is the payload,
  • The rest is protocol overhead.

Documentation / Reference

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