Practical Networking .net

Packet Traveling

Packet Traveling - Title


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.

Packet Traveling

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.




  1. James Marsh says

    Very good, concise, complete and clear – an uncommon thing for this field. Thank you !!

  2. Elias Fotopoulos says

    Very Good!!!

  3. 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!


  4. Manik chouhan says


  5. Rafat khan says

    It was outstanding knowledge.and in very clear way.keep it up

  6. 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!!

  7. Ed Harmoush,

    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.


  8. Hi Ed,
    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!!!

  9. Edd Bravo says

    Really good videos and explanation, I appretiate so much your interest making videos for learning purposes. Have a nice Day sir!

  10. This is soo helpful. keep it alive

  11. Man, Take a bow. !!!!!!! RESPECT!!!!!!!

  12. Joseph Cantillo says

    where can i find your videos? i cant seem to locate them?

  13. Vipin Garg says

    Awesome sir..thanks a lot

  14. good information sir,
    sir, I have a doubt can I clarify few things

  15. 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

    • Hi Andy,

      The MAC address is the identify of a particular NIC. Most end-hosts only have one NIC, so in such cases, aaaa represents the single MAC address for Host A. If, however, Host A had multiple network interface cards, then each would have their own MAC address.

  16. Network Dude says

    Great job. Clear. Concise. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  17. 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.

  18. All i can say is Excellent article, Please keep this site up and running and hope to see more articles in the networking area.

  19. tushar naik says

    Your all blogs are awesome and useful

  20. 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

      • 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!

  21. 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

  22. at last found practical to understand what is actually going on
    thank you

  23. your are an amazing human being for the effort you have done, I learnt from you alot, thank you

  24. Shrinidhi Pande says

    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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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?

  27. Can You also explain the packet travel from Host A ==> router X ==> switch T ==> router Y ==> Host B

  28. Jamie Wilson says

    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!

  29. Hi!
    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

  30. Ankur Rathi says

    Precise and very easy to understand.
    Thanks a lot for putting it in a very elegant way.

  31. Joydeep Das says

    Thank you the compilation, really helped a lot!

  32. Learning this might have taken long time if i refered books. Thanks for teaching me about OSI and other basic concepts.

  33. Neil Ning says

    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.

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