cover image

Packet switching

Method for transmitting data over a computer network / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Packet-switched network?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


In telecommunications, packet switching is a method of grouping data into packets that are transmitted over a digital network. Packets are made of a header and a payload. Data in the header is used by networking hardware to direct the packet to its destination, where the payload is extracted and used by an operating system, application software, or higher layer protocols. Packet switching is the primary basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide.

In the early 1960s, American computer scientist Paul Baran developed the concept that he called "distributed adaptive message block switching", with the goal of providing a fault-tolerant, efficient routing method for telecommunication messages as part of a research program at the RAND Corporation, funded by the United States Department of Defense.[1] His ideas contradicted then-established principles of pre-allocation of network bandwidth, exemplified by the development of telecommunications in the Bell System. The new concept found little resonance among network implementers until the independent work of British computer scientist Donald Davies at the National Physical Laboratory in 1965. Davies is credited with coining the modern term packet switching and inspiring numerous packet switching networks in the decade following, including the incorporation of the concept into the design of the ARPANET in the United States.[2][3] The ARPANET was the primary precursor network of the modern Internet.