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Frame check sequence (FCS) refers to the extra bits and characters added to data packets for error detection and control.
Network data is transmitted in frames. Each frame is comprised of bits of data appended to the header, which holds basic information such as source and destination media access control (MAC) addresses and application. Another set of characters is added to the end of the frames, which are checked at the destination. Matching FCSs indicate that delivered data is correct.
Because network communication uses varied data transmission media, errors occur on a frequent basis. When data is transmitted in a frame, a specific FCS is added to the frame’s data bits. The source calculates this FCS prior to sending a frame, which is verified and compared at the destination. If the FCS data matches, the transmission is considered successful. If not, the data frame is automatically discarded due to error.
FCS technology is one of the best error control techniques and remains popular because of its simplicity.