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Packet switching

Packet switching, in computer networking and telecommunications, is the now-dominant communications paradigm in which packets (units of information carriage) are routed between nodes over data links shared with other traffic. This contrasts with the other principal paradigm, circuit switching, which sets up a dedicated connection between the two nodes for their exclusive use for the duration of the communication. Packet switching is used to optimize the use of the bandwidth available in a network, to minimize the transmission latency (i.e. the time it takes for data to pass across the network), and to increase robustness of communication.
Packet switching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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