Network Meltdown

What Does Network Meltdown Mean?

A network meltdown is a scenario where a network becomes sluggish, becomes marginally functional or fails to function because of high traffic.

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Techopedia Explains Network Meltdown

A network meltdown can occur for various reasons. One is when planners fail to anticipate higher numbers of users or new demands on a system. Industry experts have looked at how smart phones and mobile devices can cause network meltdowns because of their heavy signaling activity, with different apps and devices sending so many requests over common networks.

Another potential cause of network meltdown is a cyberattack. For example, network systems suffering from DNS amplification attacks can see their networks start to respond poorly owing to the intensity of the activity on them.

IT industry pros offer numerous tips for better planning, to limit the chances of a network meltdown occurring. These often relate to building enough capacity in models around consumer use.

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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.