Datagram

What Does Datagram Mean?

A datagram is a unit of transfer assoicated with networking. A datagram has the following characteristics:

Advertisements
  • Data is transmitted from source to destination without guarantee of delivery
  • Data is frequently divided into smaller pieces and transmitted without a defined route or guaranteed order of delivery

Techopedia Explains Datagram

A datagram is primarily used for wireless communication and is self-contained with source and destination addresses written in the header. It is similar to a packet, which is a small piece of data transmitted through a connectionless protocol; but a datagram cannot handle prior or subsequent data communication.

Intermediary devices (e.g., routers) automatically lead a datagram to its final network destination per the header’s specified address, i.e., a datagram does not follow a predefined transmission route. Thus, the router does not require prior route information. In addition, successful datagram delivery is facilitated through the destination system’s third-party application software.

A datagram supports a maximum of 65,535 bytes at a time; thus, it is a very small amount of data.

Advertisements

Related Terms

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.