What Is Packet Loss And How To Overcome It?

What Is Packet Loss And How To Overcome It?

What Is Packet Loss And How To Overcome It?

 When your internet keeps dropping, it can be a packet loss problem. But what is packet loss, and how do you deal with it?

Packet loss is a major problem with network communications and can make your connection unstable. Let's see what packet loss is and how to fix it.

What is Packet Loss?

First, let's break down what a “packet” is, so we can understand what causes packet loss and why it is so bad.

When you browse the internet, you need to send and receive data to load websites. Your computer needs to talk to the server it's trying to connect to.

To do this, it sends a small amount of data over the internet towards the destination. These little bundles are known as “packets”.

Packets cannot store large amounts of data, at most they can contain 65,535 bytes (or 0.065 megabytes) of information within them. However, your average internet package won't even be this big. Typically, internet plans store only 1,500 bytes (0.0015 megabytes) of data.

There's not much you can do with such a small file size. That's why computers and servers send more than one data packet as they speak. For example, when you watch a live broadcast on the internet, your PC receives a large number of packets containing both visual and audio data.

As you might expect, with all these packets flowing through the internet, there are times when these packets get lost. When this happens, the data flow becomes chaotic and can cause errors and interruptions.

If you're watching a live stream and packet loss occurs, it can result in stream buffering or strange audio and visual glitches. This is because the packets carrying the data that make up that part of the stream have been lost.

It's as if someone sent you all the pages of a mystery novel in separate envelopes. If all the pages reach your home, you can make a full book and read the novel. However, if some of them get lost in the letters, you will be confused reading the storyline of the novel.

How to Overcome Packet Loss?

You can think of several reasons why some of the pages of your mystery novel never made it to your destination. Maybe the address is wrong, or it was lost in the mail. Packages have similar problems that can cause them to "lose". Let's see what can cause this to happen and how to deal with packet loss.

Network Traffic Congestion

Internet connections have limited bandwidth, they cannot allow an unlimited number of packets to pass. When the internet becomes busy with people sending packets to and fro, it can cause congestion on the network.

Thus, like a traffic jam, too many packets can cause them to arrive more slowly than expected. However, if the servers believe that the connection is too crowded, they can choose to remove all packets and start over.

Faulty Ethernet cable

As you would expect, broken connections are prone to packet loss. If you're using an Ethernet connection and something tampers with the cable, packets can be lost as they travel to and from your PC.

The best way to fix this is to get a new Ethernet cable and try it. Ethernet cables tend to be very affordable, so this shouldn't be an expensive fix.

Damaged Or Inadequate Hardware

Likewise, something went wrong with the hardware that sent the packet. When your network hardware is getting old, it can be a reason for packet loss.

To fix this, try connecting via Ethernet or try a different network card. If this solves the problem, you will know what caused the problem.

Redundant Hardware

Similar to above, hardware overload can also cause packet loss. The hardware itself runs fine, but is loaded with so many queries that things go awry. If this happens, it's best to close all applications that are using your network connection.

Broken Software

If the hardware is functioning properly, there is a possibility that the software that transmits the data is having problems. Errors in the network code can cause packet loss when sending data to the server.

If this happens with certain games or apps, try uninstalling and reinstalling them. Hopefully this will clear up the error and get you back online.

Wireless Packet Loss

If you are using a WiFi connection, you will see more problems than if you are using an Ethernet cable. This is because while Ethernet cables carry data safely over protected cables, WiFi must pass through the air and any obstacles in between you and the router.

These obstacles can be physical, such as walls, metal, and electrical equipment. They can also be invisible, such as interfering with WiFi signals and clashing channels.

Packet Drop Attack

In rare situations, packet loss may be caused by cyber attacks. Bad guys can get in between you and your destination to divert packets from their supposed destination.

Your PC sends packets just fine, but they don't reach their destination due to redirects. As a result, the target assumes a drop in connection and disconnects. This attack is known as a Direct Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.


Packet loss is really annoying, and there are several reasons why you experience packet loss. Hopefully, you can use the tips above to overcome packet loss and have a smooth surfing experience from here on out.

Networking can be a tricky problem to solve, because there are so many different pieces that can go wrong. Fortunately, there are lots of tricks to fix this.

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Resa Risyan

Just an ordinary person who wants to share a little knowledge, hopefully the knowledge I provide can be useful for all of us. Keep in mind! Useful knowledge is an investment in the afterlife.

Also, read the article about What Is A Swap Partition In Linux And What Does It Do. And see you in another article. Bye
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