Glossary definition of Packet

Packet is the name for a small block of data that is communicated in packet switched systems, such as is used on the Internet and in the more recent mobile communication networks.

Although it may appear that data is flowing in continuous streams to and from a subscriber, in actual fact this is an illusion, because the packets of data may be sent via different routes through a network, and the original information is only re-assembled in the correct order at the receiving end by using a unique address code transmitted with each packet.