Packet Switched Network (PSN)

Last Updated: February 2, 2017

Definition - What does Packet Switched Network (PSN) mean?

A packet switched network (PSN) is a type of computer communications network that groups and sends data in the form of small packets. It enables the sending of data or network packets between a source and destination node over a network channel that is shared between multiple users and/or applications.

A packet switched is also known as a connectionless network, as it does not create a permanent connection between a source and destination node.

Techopedia explains Packet Switched Network (PSN)

A packet switched network is one of the most commonly used computer networks. It is widely implemented on local networks and the Internet.

A PSN generally works on the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol suite or the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) layer. For data to be transmitted over a network, it is first distributed into small packets, which depend on the data's protocol and overall size. Each packet contains various details, such as a source IP address, destination IP address and unique data and packet identifiers.

The segregation of data into small packets enables efficient data transportation and better utilization of the network medium/channel. More than one user, application and/or node may take turns sending and receiving data without permanently retaining the underlying medium/channel, as in a circuit switched network.

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