What Does Frame Mean?

In networking, a frame is a unit of data. A frame works to help identify data packets used in networking and telecommunications structures. Frames also help to determine how data receivers interpret a stream of data from a source.


Techopedia Explains Frame

One way to define frames in networking is that the frame is a primary data unit within Level 2, or the data link layer of the OSI model. By contrast, Level 3, or the networking layer of the OSI model uses the packet as a primary data unit.

Frames and packets may have different terminology attached to their use depending on the context or industry in question. In general, the frame is a formatting resource for data that needs to be split up into recognizable pieces in order to be interpreted by a receiver.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…