If you’re reading this blog, then you are no doubt already familiar with the wondrous creation that is the Internet. The Internet allows computers from all over the world to speak to each other.
When data leaves your computer, it is grouped into small chunks called Packets. These packets are essentially little envelopes that carry data across the Internet.
This article series is going to explain everything that happens to get one of these Packets from one side of the Internet to the other. We will look at each device and every step involved with a packet traveling across the Internet.
First, we’ll take a look at some background information on each separate function of network communication. Then we’ll take a look at the individual devices that perform each function. We will then tie everything together as we look at everything that happens for communication to happen between two computers with various interconnected devices.
- OSI Model
- Key Players
- Host to Host communication
- Host to Host communication through a Switch
- Host to Host communication through a Router
- Host to Switch to Router to Switch to Host
After reading through this article series on Packet Traveling, you will be able to understand and explain all the different events which occur in sending data from one side of the Internet to the other.
Very good, concise, complete and clear – an uncommon thing for this field. Thank you !!
Excellent Expllanation. hats off to you
Dude, please keep this website alive! The information that you put here is invaluable, and I want to thank you on behalf of every network engineer out there who benefits from your lessons. You are the real MVP! 🙂
Have an awesome day and weekend!
KINDLY TALK ON HEADERS .
It was outstanding knowledge.and in very clear way.keep it up
What the … this is the most clear, concise and util material i have ever seen in networking, if you make a book of networking you would make it WAAAAY better than Tanenbaum. really congrats!!
Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put into this blog and whole site.
The articulation and attention to detail, where needed (which is important to note) is great and unlike any other resource I have found online.
I am actually a System Engineer, and sometimes I need a refresh. There are so many articles out there that don’t achieve the level of quality in their blogs or answers because they lack the simplistic language and current examples.
Thank you so much again for the time and effort you have put into it. For what it is worth, I have booked marked your site (yes, I still book mark ;P ) for later referencing.
Nicole! Thank you for the kind words =) I’m so glad you found the articles helpful. And thank you for the bookmark ^_^.
I am so impressed with your blog & your video, I have been reading all sort of different manuels which didn’t provide such level of understanding, more especially emphasize on the 3 different tables (ARP, MAC ADDR and ROUTING Tables). you might have read on them, but such key to know that they are the keys to the troubleshooting exposure. This is the key element no one has addressed in my time of stuying ccna, ccnp R&S, one needs to have in mind when troubleshooting. Your article is very and very helpful, I have been having serious issues in troubleshooting, after reading, all have fallen into place now, BIG THANK YOU!!!
Hi Chris! Thank you for the kind words! I am so glad you enjoyed the articles! Hope the others are equally as helpful for you =)
Really good videos and explanation, I appretiate so much your interest making videos for learning purposes. Have a nice Day sir!
This is soo helpful. keep it alive
Man, Take a bow. !!!!!!! RESPECT!!!!!!!
where can i find your videos? i cant seem to locate them?
Hi Joseph. The final article in this series is a link to the video which ties everything together:
You can also see all my youtube videos on my channel:
Awesome sir..thanks a lot
good information sir,
sir, I have a doubt can I clarify few things
when you talk about aaaa being mac address of hostA, it is on of host’s nic mac or some mac representing entire host A
The MAC address is the identify of a particular NIC. Most end-hosts only have one NIC, so in such cases,
aaaarepresents the single MAC address for Host A. If, however, Host A had multiple network interface cards, then each would have their own MAC address.
Great job. Clear. Concise. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
in the last 10 years that I read about OSI model, I only remembered the names, but never did understand completely. The information you provided here is superb.
All i can say is Excellent article, Please keep this site up and running and hope to see more articles in the networking area.
Your all blogs are awesome and useful
This is an absolutely brilliant explanation of packet traveling! Thank you for taking the time to put this together!
My only suggestion would be to explain the binary ANDing bitwise operation process. I feel it is important to understand that process to truly understand how a Layer-3 IPv4 device knows how to handle the packets.
Hi El, glad you enjoyed the series =) Than you for the kind words.
I thought a long time about including or not including Subnetting/Binary/ANDing in this article series. In the end I decided against to try and keep this as simple and approachable as possible — there are many people that are interested in how packets move through a network that wouldn’t be interested in Subnetting.
If you’re interested though, I did create a Subnetting video series. You can see it here, or by browsing to SubnetIPv4.com.
Thank you for your reply! I will explore all of your series! You have a simple and unique way of explaining things, and your animated visualizations make it easy to understand the various concepts! I have already referred numerous colleagues to your site, and the feedback that I am receiving is that your content is “amazing!”
We all very much appreciate the time that you took to put this website and series together!
After scouring the internet, I found this gem of info. Thanks a lot brother. I am studying for the security+ exam and needed this to cement my understanding of what happens during packet transfer. I’ve had confounding info but yours brought it all together in simple terms and easy to understand. You’re awesome
at last found practical networking.net to understand what is actually going on
your are an amazing human being for the effort you have done, I learnt from you alot, thank you
Thank you so much for such an efforts that you have put in this tutorial. I have been wanted to learn this end to end communication from last 2 months but no book mentioned it this clearly.
Thank you so much again. You made my day.
Hi Shrinidhi, you’re very welcome! I’m glad you found the content useful =)
This whole series has been great. The animations and writing make the process easy to understand, and the logical progression of the series is very helpful. Thanks for making this!
Glad you enjoyed them Bob =) Thank you for the kind words.
Very well done. I’ve watched this several times. However, how does this change (regarding the Layer 2 information) if there are wireless access points, or bridges in the network diagram?
For the WAP’s it depends on whether they are acting as a Switch or acting as a Router. I’m going to explore it all in more details in this series:
In the mean time, the 2nd video in the series discusses Switches and Routers vs Switching and Routinging — and that many devices perform Routing and Switching, to include access points.
Can You also explain the packet travel from Host A ==> router X ==> switch T ==> router Y ==> Host B
A video which does exactly that is in the works. Details here:
I can’t put into words how grateful I am for the effort you’ve put into these articles, videos, and animations. Thank you so much!
I’ve now read through the VLAN and Packet Traveling series. Thank you so much. There’s not many sources of information on these subjects out there that explains things in such a practical manner. This has helped me a lot.
All the best, Garm
Happy to help, Garm. Cheers!
Precise and very easy to understand.
Thanks a lot for putting it in a very elegant way.
Thank you the compilation, really helped a lot!
Learning this might have taken long time if i refered books. Thanks for teaching me about OSI and other basic concepts.
Very excited to read this series of articles, May I have an authorization to translate it into Chinese? I will note the source links of articles.
As long as each translated article/page has a link to the source, and no monetization of the translated article exists, I’m ok with it.
Amazing article !
Perfect explanation. I haven’t seen better than this study. Bravo
Thank you, Tomy =)
Great work. Very clearly and practically explained each point.
Glad you enjoyed it. Consider checking out the video version of this series: https://www.practicalnetworking.net/index/networking-fundamentals-how-data-moves-through-the-internet/