Packet Switched/Packet Switching (PS)

The process by which a networking or telecommunications device accepts a packet and switches it to a telecommunications device that will take it closer to its destination. Packet switching allows data to be sent over the telecommunications network in short bursts or “packets” that contain sequence numbers so that they can be reassembled at the destination. Wide area network (WAN) devices called switches route packets from one point on a packet-switched network to another. Data within the same communication session might be routed over several different paths, depending on factors such as traffic congestion and switch availability.

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