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A data packet is a unit of data made into a single package that travels along a given network path. Data packets are used in Internet Protocol (IP) transmissions for data that navigates the Web, and in other kinds of networks.
A data packet has other parts besides the raw data it contains - often referred to as the payload. Data packets also have headers that carry certain types of metadata, along with routing information. For example, IP data packets have a header containing an IP address of origin and destination IP address. Data packets also may have trailers that help refine data transmission.
To provide more conventional data packet use for the Web and other networks, various groups have contributed to consistent standards for data packet transmission. For example, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) put together the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, which identifies certain data packet layers and maintains standards for each. All of this is the foundation of the modern makeup and use of data packets in diverse network scenarios.