Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Data encapsulation refers to sending data where the data is augmented with successive layers of control information before transmission across a network. The reverse of data encapsulation is decapsulation, which refers to the successive layers of data being removed (essentially unwrapped) at the receiving end of a network.
When a network device sends a message, the message will take the form of a packet. Each OSI (open system interconnection) model layer adds a header to the packet. The packet is then covered with some information directing it onward to a destination; this is analogous to the address on a letter in which the actual message is carried inside the envelope. Similarly, the message in the packet is encapsulated with some information such as the address of next node, protocol information, the type of data and the source and destination addresses.