- noun a method of sending data across a wide area network in small packets, which are then reassembled in correct order at the receiving end
- In a communications network, the transmission, routing, forwarding, and the like, of messages which are broken into packets (2). Since each contains a destination address, each of the packets of a single message may take different paths, depending on the availability of channels, and may arrive at different times, with each complete message being reassembled at the destination. Also, the technology employed for such communications. This contrasts with message switching, in which complete messages are transmitted, routed, forwarded, and so on, to their destination. It also contrasts with circuit switching, in which two terminals are linked to establish a communication channel which remains in exclusive use by these terminals until the connection is terminated.
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