Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » P »


Short for packet-switched data network, a data communications network that is based on the principles of packet switching, as opposed to circuit switching that is used in public telephone networks. Packet-switched networks do not establish physical communication channels between communicating devices like circuit-switched networks do. Instead, signals are formed into fixed-length packets that are affixed with a source and destination address and packet ordering details. The packets then rely on network routers to read the address data and route the packets through the network to their destinations. When the packets arrive at the receiving device, the packet ordering data is used to reassemble the original signal. One advantage of packet-switched networks is that packets from different sources going to different destinations can share common data pathways.

Also called a packet-switched network, or PSN.

8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »