Bang Path

What Does Bang Path Mean?

A bang path is a mostly obsolete kind of address function that shows each server in a message trajectory over a complex network, for example, the Internet. It is called a bang path because each designated server is separated by an exclamation point, also known as a bang.

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Techopedia Explains Bang Path

The bang path is part of a UNIX-to-UNIX copy (UUCP) protocol that helps transfer files and messages between individual computers. Each exclamation point on the bang path is sometimes called a “hop.” In the days before a fully integrated global Internet, prior to the late 1990s, addresses utilizing bang paths were common, and it wasn’t unusual to have up to eight or ten hops where the entire address spelled out each server on the message trajectory.

As far as the use of bang paths today, they are not typically used in much larger networks. Conventional DNS protocols have taken over in routing the majority of Internet traffic. However, bang paths are still used in smaller network setups such as “usenet” networks and small UNIX-to-UNIX networks.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.