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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.
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.