is, in a sense, a piece
that has been encapsulated
inside other data. This other data
can be anything, but in network
s, usually comprises of the source
of the packet, its destination
and a checksum
The benefit of using packets is that they are discrete objects. Information can be split up into numerous packets which are sent out over a network. Each packet contains the information necessary to get it to its destination. The receiving end can reassemble the packets, and request that any lost packets be sent again. This is the basis behind TCP/IP and other wide area networks.