Is packet loss normal

Is packet loss normal DEFAULT

Packet Loss – What is it, How to Diagnose and Fix It in your Network

Have you seen the movie “Thor Ragnarok”?

There was a part in the movie where Thor and Loki were trying to escape from their crazy sister, Hela, who had been in prison for a long time. To get to Asgard (the home of Thor and Loki) from earth, they use a very high-speed travel portal (Bifrost bridge).

As Thor and Loki were trying to escape from their sister through this bridge, a fight broke out and Thor and Loki got knocked out of the bridge and fall into a waste planet (Sakaar).

This is a good introduction to this article, where we will be discussing what Packet Loss is, its causes and effects, and how to solve, or at least reduce the possibility, of packet loss. We will also use GNS3 to simulate a network where packet loss exists.

Packet Loss and its causes

The short story of Thor and his evil sister is exactly how packets get lost. Simple put, Packet loss is when packets traveling through a network medium get “knocked off” before getting to their destination. There are a couple of reasons why packet loss happens and we will look at some of them in this section.

Note: Every network will encounter issues like packet loss, from time to time. This is expected. However, these issues should not have too much of a negative impact on the performance of the network.

Link Congestion

One of the major causes of packet loss is link congestion. A simple analogy is rush hour traffic when there are more cars on the road than the road can sufficiently handle. Another analogy is a 4-lane road merging into 2 lanes. What happens is that there are more packets arriving on a link than that link is designed to handle.

In some cases, even if the link can technically handle the amount of traffic reaching it, it has been configured to drop packets after a certain limit. An example of this is an organization that purchases 2 Mbps from its ISP.

Even if the link can technically support up to 100 Mbps (e.g. MetroEthernet), the ISP will configure their devices to ensure that the organization can only push 2Mbps worth of traffic. Anything more will usually be dropped (depending on the maximum burstable agreement the organization has with the ISP).

Another example of network congestion is when service providers intentionally oversubscribe a link. The rationale is that all the subscribers of that service will not be using the link simultaneously. However, what happens during peak periods when more people are using the service than its capacity is that there will likely be packet loss resulting from congestion.

Overutilized devices

Another cause of packet loss similar to network congestion is Over-Utilized devices. This means that a device is operating at a capacity it was not designed for. In a network, packets may arrive faster than they can be processed/sent out.

To handle this type of situation, many devices have buffers where they hold packets temporarily until they are able to be processed and sent out. However, in the case of an Over-Utilized device, the buffer will probably fill up quickly, resulting in excess packets being dropped.

For example, a Cisco ASA 5506-X is designed to handle up to 750 Mbps of throughput traffic. If you use such a device at the network edge of an organization pushing more than that maximum throughput, you will definitely have an issue.

What happens in many instances is that the device performs at a good enough performance during normal (off-peak) operating times but during peak periods, there will be a noticeable drop in performance, usually evident in the high CPU utilization of the device.

Faulty Hardware and/or Software

Another cause of Packet loss is Faulty hardware. This could be a component of a device or the whole device itself.

For example, I once worked on a project where the ISP was providing the organization with 100 Mbps but the organization was still struggling with good Internet access especially during peak periods. What we discovered was that the interface on the edge router connecting the organization to its ISP was only able to account for 30 Mbps out of 100 Mbps! The interface had failed (for whatever reason) and once we moved the link to another interface, the performance increased immediately.

Closely related to faulty hardware is a buggy software running on the network device. As with any other software, it is usually impossible for the development team to catch all the bugs in the software running on network devices, and one of such bugs may result in packet loss.

Here are some examples of software bugs in Cisco devices resulting in packet loss:

Wireless versus Wired networks

The type of network medium can also be a cause of packet loss. Generally speaking, Wireless Nnetworks suffer more setbacks than their wired counterparts. For example, radio frequency interference can be a major issue on wireless networks resulting in packet loss.

Other challenges on a wireless network that can result in packet loss include weak signal, distance limitations, and (improperly configured) roaming, many of which can be solved with a combination of a Wifi Analyzer and creating Wifi Heat Maps.

In the case of wired networks, faulty cables can result in packet loss. This could result from the fact that the cable is not properly terminated or that the cable is damaged, causing issues for the electrical signal meant to flow through the cable.


I was once called to troubleshoot a problem in a data-center. The network guys suddenly noticed a major degradation in the network performance so much so that accessing the network devices for management was difficult i.e. very slow access.

We had identified the devices that were affected – two edge routers acting in active/standby mode. Thinking it was a hardware problem on the active device (due to the high CPU utilization), we did a manual failover to the standby device and we started seeing the same problem on the standby device.

This made us focus on the traffic being received by these devices. Upon further investigation, we noticed that a particular IP address was performing a network attack by flooding traffic to the devices, incapacitating them. Blocking that IP address stopped that attack and brought the network back to its normal operating condition.

The attack described above is an example of a Denial of Service (DoS) attack and can result in legitimate packets being dropped because a device is overwhelmed with attack traffic.

Faulty configuration

The last cause of packet loss we will consider in this article is faulty configuration. A typical example is speed and duplex mismatch between two devices on a link. If one device is configured for half-duplex while the other one is configured for full-duplex, there will likely be collision resulting in packet loss on the link.

Effects of Packet Loss

The effects of packet loss vary depending on the protocol/application concerned.

TCP is generally designed to handle packet loss because of the acknowledgment and re-transmission of packets – if a packet gets lost (i.e. no acknowledgment is received for that packet), it will usually be re-transmitted.

UDP, on the other hand, does not have inbuilt re-transmission capability and may not handle packet loss as well. However, irrespective of the protocol/application, too much loss of packets is definitely a problem.

Examples of applications that do not handle packet loss well are Voice over IP (VoIP) and some types of video. Degradation in VOIP quality will result in a loss of CDR's and VOIP connectivity at times as well.

You have probably been on calls (e.g. Skype, WhatsApp) where there is a noticeable performance issue, like “robotic speech” or completely missed audio. This is usually as a result of packet loss (along with other factors like bandwidth, delay, and network jitter).

According to Cisco recommendations, packet loss on VoIP traffic should be kept below 1% and between 0.05% and 5% depending on the type of video.

Lab: Packet Loss in GNS3

Let us investigate the effects of packet loss using a simple lab in GNS3.

To make this as realistic as possible, we will introduce the NETem appliance which emulates a link and is able to introduce various factors like bandwidth, delay, and packet loss on a link. This functionality is actually built into the Linux kernel – the NETem appliance just makes it easier to configure.

Download GNS3 Here and Get it installed in Order to Follow along with our Lab setup

Our lab setup is as shown below:

The NETem appliance is transparent on the network so PC1 and R1 are actually on the same network, thinking they have a direct connection.

The easiest test we can do on the network is a ping test. Let us ping from PC1 to R1:

PC1> ping icmp_seq=1 timeout 84 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=23.168 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=6.965 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=14.084 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=13.407 ms   PC1> ping 84 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=6.999 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=12.637 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=12.203 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=11.711 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=6.818 ms

As you can see from the screenshot above, we received a reply to almost all the ping echo packets.

Note: The first ping packet timed out due to ARP. After that initial ping, ping should not timeout as long as the ARP cache still contains the MAC address of the other host.

Now, we will configure the NETem appliance to introduce loss on the network. When we open the console (telnet) connection to that appliance, the default interface is as shown below:

What I want to do is apply a 15% loss in a symmetric manner i.e. both ways.

Now when we test with ping again, we see that some ping packets are lost:

PC1> ping icmp_seq=1 timeout 84 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=10.554 ms icmp_seq=3 timeout 84 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=5.864 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=5.807 ms   PC1> ping icmp_seq=1 timeout 84 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=6.068 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=3.839 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=3.460 ms 84 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=6.079 ms

If you replicate this lab, try the ping over and over again and you will notice that the packets lost each time will differ slightly. Also, reduce/increase the packet loss and see what effect it has on the network.

Side Note: Something very interesting to try is to replace PC1 with a router or any device that can be used to open a telnet/ssh connection (VPCS doesn’t support this). Next, configure R1 to accept remote connections and then try to manage R1 remotely (telnet/ssh) from the other device you just added.

What you will notice is that at 10% packet loss, the remote connection will be relatively smooth. However, at 30%, you will notice typing delays. You can experiment with lower/higher values.

Diagnosing Packet Loss

While there is no strict approach to detecting packet loss on a network, there are a couple of steps and tools you can use. You will usually start from a place of user experience, that is, users are complaining about poor network performance or they are experiencing some of the effects of packet loss that we have discussed above. From that point, you will want to start troubleshooting to either confirm that the problem exists or exclude packet loss as the cause of the problem e.g. an application problem.

One of the most evident signs that packet loss is occurring on a network is devices with High CPU utilization. Like we already discussed, this can be as a result of several reasons like over-utilized devices, faulty hardware/software, or even an attack.

If you find one of such devices on the network (e.g. through your network management system), then you will want to troubleshoot why that device has high CPU utilization. Cisco has a good guide for troubleshooting high CPU utilization on its devices.

R1#show processes cpu CPU utilization for five seconds: 5%/0%; one minute: 3%; five minutes: 1% PID Runtime(ms)   Invoked      uSecs   5Sec   1Min   5Min TTY Process 1           8        67        119  0.00%  0.00%  0.00%   0 Chunk Manager 2           4        39        102  0.00%  0.01%  0.00%   0 Load Meter 3           0         1          0  0.00%  0.00%  0.00%   0 chkpt message ha 4           0         1          0  0.00%  0.00%  0.00%   0 EDDRI_MAIN 5        1200        70      17142  0.00%  0.57%  0.29%   0 Check heaps

Assuming there are no easy-to-detect causes of packet loss on the network such as high CPU utilization, then you can continue your troubleshooting using tools like ping and traceroute. By consistently sending ping packets (of various sizes), you may be able to determine that there is loss on the network.

Once this has been identified, you can then use traceroute to try to determine which hop in the path from sender to receiver is causing the packet loss. MTR, a tool that combines the functionality of ping and traceroute in one, can also be used to continuously monitor the performance of a particular path, and report packet loss if any.

Note: Keep in mind that some devices filter ping/traceroute packets. As such, you may not always get accurate results using these tools.

When troubleshooting packet loss on a device, it will be worth taking a look at the interface statistics. Many vendors have command-line or GUI tools to view the statistics on network interfaces and will reveal information such as the number of packets that have gone in and out of that interface, the number of errors, the size of the input and output queues, and if there have been any drops e.g. due to a full buffer.

R1#show interfaces FastEthernet 0/0 FastEthernet0/0 is up, line protocol is up Hardware is Gt96k FE, address is c201.6bcd.0000 (bia c201.6bcd.0000) Internet address is MTU 1500 bytes, BW 10000 Kbit/sec, DLY 1000 usec, reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255 Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set Keepalive set (10 sec) Half-duplex, 10Mb/s, 100BaseTX/FX ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00 Last input 00:00:05, output 00:00:00, output hang never Last clearing of "show interface" counters never Input queue: 0/75/0/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 0 Queueing strategy: fifo Output queue: 0/40 (size/max) 5 minute input rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec 5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec 38 packets input, 3652 bytes Received 1 broadcasts, 0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles 0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored 0 watchdog 0 input packets with dribble condition detected 73 packets output, 7754 bytes, 0 underruns 0 output errors, 0 collisions, 1 interface resets 0 unknown protocol drops 0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred 0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier 0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out R1#

Here are a few articles to help you identify/troubleshoot input and output drops:

Finally in this section on troubleshooting packet loss, you want to consider packet capturing using a traffic diagnostic tool like Wireshark. These tools are typically able to capture and analyse traffic based on several performance characteristics, including detecting packet loss.

Fixing Packet Loss

Solving the issue of packet loss on a network is usually as simple as identifying the cause, and finding a fix for that cause.

  • If a link is congested, perhaps you should consider getting a “fatter” pipe so that you can push more traffic through that link. You can also consider applying Quality of Service (QoS) features such that certain types of traffic (e.g. VoIP) are given priority over other traffic that are not so sensitive to loss or critical to operations.
  • For devices that are over-utilized above their capacity, the only solution may be to upgrade to a higher performance device. In some cases, it may be a component of the device that needs to be upgraded.For example, you should not use a Fast-Ethernet interface for a 100Mbps link because even though the theoretical limit of Fast-Ethernet is 100Mbps, in practice, you will probably not be able to hit that limit. Use a Gigabit-Ethernet interface instead.
  • Swap out faulty hardware/cables and upgrade software as soon as new releases are available (upon adequate testing).
  • Depending on your environment, you may opt for a physical network cable (wired) connecting your device to the network instead of using a wireless connection. For wireless networks, you should work on reducing interference as much as possible. One way is to move to a less crowded channel.If distance is not a limitation and your devices support it, you can move to the 5Ghz band which suffers less interference, has more non-overlapping channels, resulting in less congestion and contention. Using a WiFi Analyzer can further assist you in finding issues and spotty areas in your wifi network.
  • If under attack, try to mitigate that attack as fast as you can. This can be as simple as using an ACL to block the IP address of the attacker (if static and known). In more complex cases, you can use features like Remotely Triggered Black Hole Routing or a DDoS-prevention cloud service like Cloudflare.
  • Finally, check that your configuration is not causing packet loss. Ensure that duplex settings match on devices (or just leave it on Auto). If you have configured QoS, ensure that your buffer’s size is enough.


The effects of Packet loss can be very annoying like inaudible audio calls and grainy videos. As we have seen in this article, packet loss can be caused by a variety of things like congestion, security attack, and even the network medium being used.

To combat this issue, identify the cause using tools like ping, MRT, show commands, and packet captures, and then try to fix the defect.


What’s "normal" for latency and packet loss?

What's a 'normal' latency (or good range) that I can expect to see?

The legend (the at the upper right corner) in PingPlotter and MultiPing frames a basic reference to what a good or bad latency might be, although it's not specific for connection type or distance to .


There are two normal factors that significantly influence the latency of a consumer device (like a cable modem, modem or dial-up modem).

  1. The latency of the connecting device. For a cable modem, this can normally be between 5 and 40 ms. For a DSL this is normally 10 to 70ms. For a dial-up modem, this is normally anywhere from 100 to 220ms. For a cellular link, this can be from 200 to 600 ms. For a T1, this is normally 0 to 10 ms.
  2. The distance the data is traveling. Data travels at (very roughly) 120,000 miles (or 192,000 kilometers) per second, or 120 miles (192 km) per ms (millisecond) over a network connection. With traceroute, we have to send the data there and back again, so roughly 1 ms of latency is added for every 60 miles (96km, although with the level of accuracy we're using here, we should say '100km') of distance between you and the target.

Connecting to a web site across 1500 miles (2400 km) of distance is going to add at least 25 ms to the latency. Normally, it's more like 75 after the data zig-zags around a bit and goes through numerous routers.

This means that a DSL modem on the west coast of the United States, tracing to a server on the east coast of the United States should expect somewhere around 120 ms (depending on the route and a number of other factors, but this is a rough ballpark) - 25 ms for the DSL modem and 100 ms for the distance. Tracing across an ocean, or through a satellite link, or some other link where the distance is further will certainly impact the expected latency more.

Packet Loss

Packet loss is almost always bad when it occurs at the final destination. Packet loss happens when a packet doesn't make it there and back again. Anything over 2% packet loss over a period of time is a strong indicator of problems. Most internet protocols can correct for some packet loss, so you really shouldn't expect to see a lot of impact from packet loss until that loss starts to approach 5% and higher. Anything less than this is showing a possible problem, but one that is probably not impacting your experience significantly at present (unless you're an online gamer or something similar that requires 'twitch' reflexes).

Using PingPlotter to measure latency and packet loss

If you've determined that your latency is out of the normal realm, and if you're seeing problems with some aspect of your connection (unexpected slowdowns, disconnects, or that you are often forced to 'retry'), then looking at the PingPlotter data should help you understand the source of the problem. You're looking for big changes in latency and/or packet loss between two hops. Start at the end and go till you find a hop that's not showing the problems that your final destination is showing. Once you've identified that, then you know where the problem is occurring. Ideally, you'd be able to contact that provider and find out how to solve the problem. Often, the result is that you would contact your ISP and they would help you solve the problem.

For more details on finding latency and packet loss problems, visit our Getting Started Guide, or see our article on how to pinpoint the problem.

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How to Fix Packet Loss in 8 Steps

How to Fix Packet Loss

Have you experienced overwhelming levels of packet loss that impacted your network performance?

Do you find that overloading occurs frequently on your network?

Which tools do you use to monitor your network connectivity and prevent dropped packets?

Packet loss is one of the most critical network performance metrics, but what is packet loss, what causes it, and how do you fix it?

Here is our list of the 5 best tools to fix packet loss:

  1. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor EDITOR’S CHOICE Comprehensive network device health checker, running on Windows Server, that employs SNMP for live monitoring. Start a 30-day free trial.
  2. Paessler Packet Loss Monitoring with PRTG A network, server, and application monitoring tool that includes a Ping sensor, a Quality of Service sensor, and a Cisco IP SLA sensor.
  3. ManageEngine OpManager Network management system for Windows and Linux that uses SNMP to check on device statuses.
  4. Nagios XI An infrastructure and software monitoring tool that runs on Linux. A free version (Nagios Core) is also available.
  5. Progress WhatsUp Gold Windows-based network management tool that uses SNMP procedures to communicate with network devices.

How to Fix Packet Loss: 8 Step-by-Step Solution

Although it’s impossible to remedy packet loss in your network, there are some meaningful network checks you can complete to improve speed and reduce the number of packets lost.

  1. Check physical network connections – Check to ensure that all cables and ports are properly connected and installed.
  2. Restart your hardware – Restarting routers and hardware throughout your network can help to stop many technical faults or bugs.
  3. Use cable connections – Using cable connections rather than wireless connections can improve connection quality.
  4. Remove sources of interference – Remove anything that could be causing interference. Power lines, cameras, wireless speakers and wireless phones all cause interference in networks.
  5. If your running WIFI – Try switching to a wired connection to help reduce packet loss on your network.
  6. Update device software – Keeping your devices updated will help to ensure that there are no bugs in the OS causing packet loss.
  7. Replace outdated or deficient hardware – Upgrading your network infrastructure allows you to get rid of deficient hardware altogether.
  8. Use QoS settings – Prioritize your network traffic based on the applications that are most important. For example, prioritize voice or video traffic.

What is packet loss?

Packet loss refers to any packets of data that are lost or dropped in transit during travel across a computer network.

Packet loss could be due to a failure or an inefficiency of a component that carries data across a network, such as a faulty router, a loose cable connection or bad wifi signal strength.

Lost packets can also be intentional, for instance when it is used to restrict throughput during VoIP calls or video streams so as to avoid time lags, particularly during times of high network congestion. This results in lower quality data streams and calls which negatively affect user experience. To fix packet loss and keep high latency, you need to determine which parts of your network are contributing to the problem.

What causes packet loss?

Causes of Packet Loss

Packet loss is less likely on private, wired networks, but highly probable on long-distance internet connections. The IP philosophy of passing data packets across networks gives each router the decision on where a packet should be passed to next. The sending computer has no control over the transfer speed or the route that the packet will take.

Router packet loss

The reliance on individual routers to make routing decisions means each access point on the route must maintain a database of preferable directions for each ultimate destination. This disconnected strategy works most of the time. However, one router cannot know instantly if another router further down the line is overloaded or defective.

All routers periodically inform their neighboring devices of status conditions. A problem at one point ripples through to recalculations performed in neighboring routers. A traffic block in one router gets notified to all of the routers on the internet, causing all routers to recalibrate paths that would otherwise have passed through the troubled router. The chain of information takes time to propagate.

Rerouting overload

Sometimes a router will calculate the best path and send a packet down a blocked route. By the time the packet approaches that block, the routers closer to the problem will already know about it and reroute the packet around the defective neighbor. That rerouting can overload alternative routers. If the defect on a router prevents status notifications from being sent out, then the packet will be sent to that router regardless.

In short, the further a packet has to travel, the more routers it will pass through. More routers mean more potential points of failure and a higher likelihood that dropped packets will occur.

When is packet loss too high?

You will never reach a point where your company’s network infrastructure achieves zero packet loss. You should expect this performance drag when making connections over the internet, in particular.

Once you understand the reasons for packet loss, keeping the network healthy, packet recovery becomes an easier task. Install a network monitor to prevent equipment failure, security risks, and system overloading that escalates packet loss to critical conditions.

Packet loss costs your business money because it causes extra traffic. If you don’t deal with packet loss, you’ll have to compensate by purchasing extra infrastructure and higher levels of internet bandwidth usage than you would need with a well-tuned system.

See also:Best VoIP Monitoring Tools

The best tools fix packet loss

The more tightly knit a network, with better routers and connections in place, the less likely it is to face packet loss. But invariably many communications happen using the Internet Protocol, and not all hops are known along the way.

Tools that monitor your network endpoints can help you detect, troubleshoot and fix packet loss.

The endpoints are in the best position to work out if re-transmission of dropped packets should take place. This means that we should always anticipate some level of packet loss and therefore packet recovery in data communications. Fortunately, some very effective network monitoring solutions are available today.

What should you look for in tools to fix packet loss? 

We reviewed the market for tools to fix packet loss and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:

  • SNMP monitoring to check on network device statuses
  • Ping sweeping to test for device availability and network connectivity
  • Support for the implementation of queueing
  • End-to-end path testing utilities
  • Link testing facilities
  • An assessment period either as a free trial or as a money-back guarantee
  • A valuable collection of tools that will reduce packet loss and improve the business’s profitability

These tools both help you identify the equipment causing packet loss and provide continuous device monitoring to prevent packet loss whenever possible.

1. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (FREE TRIAL)

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

The SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor includes an autodiscovery function that maps your entire network. This discovery feature sets up automatically and then recurs permanently, so any changes in your network will be reflected in the tool. The autodiscovery populates a list of network devices and generates a network map.

The monitor tracks the performance of wireless devices and VM systems.

The tool picks up SNMP messages that report on warning conditions in all network devices. You can set capacity warning levels when monitoring router traffic to spot routers and switches nearing capacity. Taking action in these situations helps you head off overcapacity which results in packet loss.

SolarWinds VoIP Call Details

The management console includes a utility called NetPath that shows the links crossed by paths in your network.

  • The data used to create the graphic is continually updated and shows troubled links in red so that you can identify problems immediately.
  • Each router and switch in the route is displayed as a node in the path.
  • When you hover the cursor over a node, it shows the network latency and packet loss statistics for that node.

SolarWinds VoIP & NQM Search VoIP Calls

Network Performance Monitor extends its metrics out to nodes on the internet. It can even see inside the networks of service providers, such as Microsoft or Amazon, and report on the nodes within those systems.

NetPath gives great visibility to packet loss problems and lets you immediately identify the root cause of the problem. The SNMP controller module lets you adjust the settings on each device remotely, so you can quickly resolve packet loss problems on your network.

SolarWinds VoIP & NQM SIP Trunk Details

If you run your voice system over a data network, you should consider the SolarWinds VoIP and Network Quality Manager. This tool particularly focuses on network conditions important to successful VoIP traffic delivery. As packet loss is a major problem with Voice Over IP, this module hones in on that metric. The system includes a visualization module that shows the paths followed by VoIP, along with the health of each node in color-coded statuses. This tool extends VoIP quality monitoring across sites to cover your entire WAN.

Both of these SolarWinds products run on a common platform and can be integrated together. All SolarWinds infrastructure monitoring systems run on Windows Server. You can get a 30-day free trial for both of these tools.

Key Features

  • Network device statuses
  • SNMP-based
  • Alerts
  • Device discovery
  • Path analysis


SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor: Map your entire network to get visibility on packet loss and identify the root cause of the problem. Overall, a vital tool that is great for reducing packet loss to 0% or as close as possible.

Get 30 Day Free

OS: Windows Server 2016 or later

2. Paessler Packet Loss Monitoring with PRTG (FREE TRIAL)

Paessler PRTG Cisco IP SLA Sensor for Packet Loss

Paessler is a significant player in the network monitoring software sector and it puts all of its expertise into one killer product: PRTG. The company prices its product by a count of sensors.

A “sensor” is a network or device condition, or a hardware feature. You need to employ three sensors to prevent or resolve packet loss:

  • The Ping test sensor calculates packet loss rate and trip time at each device.
  • The Quality of Service sensor checks on packet loss over each link in the network.
  • The third is the Cisco IP SLA sensor that only collects data from Cisco network equipment.

Paessler PRTG Packet Sniffer Sensor

The ongoing system monitoring routines of PRTG head off conditions that cause packet loss.

  • First of all, you need to ensure that no software bugs or hardware failures will cripple the network. PRTG uses SNMP agents to constantly monitor for error conditions on each piece of hardware on the network.
  • Set alert levels at the processing capacity of each network device and marry that to a live monitor of the network’s throughput rate per link.

The build-up of traffic in one area of the network may cause overloading on the related switch or router and in turn cause it to drop data packets.

The PRTG system monitors application performance, too. You can prevent network overloads if you spot a sudden spike in the traffic generated by one application just by blocking it temporarily. You can also track the source of traffic back to a specific endpoint on the network and block that source to head off device overloading.

Paessler PRTG QoS One Way Sensor for Packet Loss

The dashboard of PRTG includes some great visualizations, which include color-coded dials, charts, graphs, and histograms. The mapping features of PRTG are impressive and offer physical layout views both on the LAN and across a real-world map for WANs. A Map Editor lets you build your own network representations by selecting which layer to display and whether to include the identification of protocols, applications, and endpoints.

Paessler PRTG’s monitoring extends into the Cloud, will enable you to monitor remote sites, uncover network problems, while also covering wireless devices and virtual environments. You can install PRTG on the Windows operating system or opt to access the system over the internet as a Cloud-based service. Paessler offers a 30-day free trial of PRTG.

Key Features

  • Traffic monitors
  • Network discovery
  • SNMP processes
  • Status alerts
  • SaaS option

Paessler Packet Loss Monitoring with PRTGDownload 30-day FREE Trial

3. ManageEngine OpManager

OpManager dashboard

OpManager features a very sophisticated dashboard that manages to crowd in a lot of information without overwhelming the viewer. You can customize the dashboard and make different versions for different team members. The installation process ends with a network discovery phase, which populates the OpManager system database. The monitor builds a graphical representation of your network that can extend to WANs and wireless equipment. If you have virtual environments, OpManager maps both the virtual and physical elements of your system.

The comprehensive network monitoring system uses SNMP to continue monitoring the health of all connected devices on the network. The SNMP system gives device agents the power to send out alert messages called “traps.” The controller displays these alerts on the dashboard immediately and can also be set to issue notifications by email or SMS. This monitoring system helps prevent any emergency performance issues that cause packet loss.

The alert logging system offers you the easiest way to detect and resolve issues that result in packet loss. One of the alert conditions is packet loss. That alert is tied to a specific network device. On clicking on the notification, the OpManager dashboard takes you to a page about that piece of equipment and shows performance metrics in visual formats. This gives you a quick way to check which condition caused the increased packet loss rate.

If no aspect of the router’s performance shows you problems, you can also click through to read the configuration changelog. If raised packet loss rate coordinates with a configuration change, you can roll back the settings of the device to its state before those changes to see whether that resolves the problem.

Key Features

  • SNMP monitor
  • Network device statuses
  • Network discovery

OpManager gives you all the information you need to prevent, resolve or reduce packet loss with just a few clicks. This system can be installed on Windows or Linux and is available for a 30-day free trial.

4. Nagios XI

Nagios XI screen

Nagios Core is a free and open-source program. The only problem is that no user interface is included. To get full GUI controls, you must pay for the Nagios XI system.

Like all of the other recommendations on this list, Nagios XI discovers all of the devices connected to your network and lists them on the dashboard. It will also generate a map of your network. Ongoing status check head off potential packet loss-provoking performance problems.

Statuses are checked by the proprietary Nagios Core 4 monitoring system rather than SNMP. However, Nagios can be extended by free plug-ins, and an SNMP-driven monitoring system is available in the plug-in library. Traffic throughput rates, CPU activity, and memory utilization appear as statuses on the dashboard include. By setting alert levels on these attributes, you can get sufficient warning to prevent overloading of each of your network devices.

A Configuration Management module checks the setup of each device on the network and logs it. The log records changes made to those configurations. If a new setting impacts performance, such as increased packet loss, you can use the Configuration Manager to instantly roll back settings on a device to an earlier configuration.

The dashboard of Nagios XI includes some very attractive visualizations with color-coded graphs, charts, and dials. You can customize the dashboard and create versions for different team members as well as non-technical managers who need to stay informed.

The Nagios XI package includes all the widgets needed to assemble a custom dashboard through a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to stop packet loss. The system comes with standard reports and you can even build your own custom output.

Nagios records and stores performance data, so you can operate the interface’s analysis tools to replay traffic events under different scenarios. The capacity planning features of this system will help spot potential overloading that would cause packet loss.

Nagios XI will cover virtual systems, cloud services, remote sites, and wireless systems as well as traditional wired LANs. You can only install this monitor on CentOS and RHEL Linux. If you don’t have those but do have VMware or Hyper-V machines, you can install it there. Nagios XI is available for a 60-day free trial.

Key Features

  • Device discovery
  • Status alerts
  • Traffic monitoring

5. Progress WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold dashboard

The Progress (formerly Ipswitch) product WhatsUp Gold monitors network devices and warns of possible error conditions, including device memory and CPU exhaustion. These alerts are managed via SNMP and you can head off capacity and failure problems that cause packet loss.

This software includes a network discovery feature, that collects all of the data for the monitor. It continually updates the topology of the LAN, detecting inventory additions, relocations, and removals. The discovery process creates a device list and builds a network map. This map is compiled from data gathered at the Data Link and Network layers. The map displays troubled devices in red. The mapping of network links extends out to the Cloud and also includes virtual environments and wireless devices.

Performance metrics like packet loss are shown in the device list and on the network map.

The WhatsUp Gold dashboard provides access to both live and historical data. This performs analysis on traffic demand trends. Live alerts raised when certain conditions are met according to pre-set rules, and you can set your own custom alert conditions. The alerts can be sent out to team members as emails, SMS messages, or Slack notifications.

WhatsUp Gold installs on Windows Server and you can get a free trial.

Key Features

  • SNMP monitoring
  • Physical statuses
  • Network discovery


Being able to easily remedy unforeseen buildup in packet loss will greatly assist you in performing your job well. Although the tools on this list are a little pricey, they pay for themselves in the long run through productivity increases and lower bandwidth requirements.

Fortunately, all of those tools we outlined above are available for free trials. Check out a few to see which gives you the best opportunity to prevent or reduce packet loss in your network.

Leave a message about your experience in the comments section below, and help others in the community learn from your experience.

Packet Loss FAQs

What causes packet loss on a network?

The most common cause of packet loss on a network is overloaded network devices. Switches and routers will drop data packets if they cannot process them in time. Other major packet loss causes include faulty equipment and cabling.

How do you calculate packet loss?

Take a count of the number of packets sent at one point on the network and the rate of packets received at another node. Subtract the number of packets received from the number of packets sent and divide the result by the number of packets sent to get the packet loss rate.

Why do I have packet loss with Ethernet?

Ethernet cables will lose packets if there is heavy electromagnetic interference nearby, if part of the cable is damaged or if the connectors at each end are loosely plugged into equipment.

Does packet loss affect ping?

Packet loss is one of the factors measured by the Ping utility. However, what is commonly referred to as “ping” is the round-trip time (RTT). This is not directly changed by packet loss – the two metrics are factors that influence response times over networks.

Is some packet loss normal?

Some packet loss is to be expected and isn’t usually a major problem. The rate of packet loss to be expected greatly depends on the size and reliability of the network. The greater the number of hops a transmission needs to take, the greater the risk of packet loss. There should be a lot less packet loss experienced on a private network than on the internet. Also, small networks should experience less packet loss than large networks in normal conditions. In general, a packet loss rate of 1 to 2.5 percent is seen as acceptable. Packet loss rates are generally higher with WiFi networks than with wired systems.

Is 2% packet loss bad?

Any packet loss will slow down response time but on a public medium like the internet, an expectation of 100% delivery success is unreasonable. Be prepared to encounter at least a little packet loss and anything below 5% is considered acceptable.

Can a VPN help with packet loss?

In truth, a VPN can’t do much about packet loss if the loss is caused by poor performance by the ISP’s equipment or an overloaded router. All a VPN does is encrypt packets and alter the path that a connection would normally take to reach a specific destination by diverting the connection through a mediating server. Those packets still have to pass through your gateway to the internet and the equipment of your ISP. If faults at those points are causing packet loss, they will drop packets regardless of where they are going or how they have been encrypted. 


What Is Network Packet Loss?

A complete guide to understanding, monitoring and fixing network packet loss.

Introduction – network packet loss

Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) is changing the world and the way we work. The worldwide implementation of VoIP and video as major communication solutions is making these changes possible. But all new technologies come with challenges and one of the major hurdles that IT teams face is network packet loss.

Packet loss describes packets of data not reaching their destination after being transmitted across a network. Packet loss is commonly caused by network congestion, hardware issues, software bugs, and a number of other factors which we discuss in detail below.

It sits in the trio of two other major network performance complications: latency, and jitter.

This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know about the causes of packet loss in computer networks.

We’ll take an in-depth look at packet loss issues, the reasons for packet loss in networking, and how to fix network packet loss.

Download a PDF copy of the Optimizing your Network Guide

What is internet packet loss?

In any network environment, data is sent and received across the network in small units called packets. This applies to everything you do on the internet, from emailing, uploading or downloading images or files, browsing, streaming, gaming – to voice and video communication. According to a 2017 survey from Statista, in 2017, 24% of surveyed companies claimed that downtimes cost them between $301,000 and $400,000. In most cases, these situations of downtimes might have arisen from a seemingly simple issue that escalated into significant setbacks.

When one or more of these packets is interrupted in its journey, this is known as packet loss. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) divides the file into efficiently sized packets for routing. Each packet is separately numbered and includes the destination’s internet address. Each individual packet may travel a different route, and when they have arrived, they are restored to the original file by the TCP at the receiving end.

What causes packet loss?

1. Network congestion

The primary cause of network packet loss is congestion. All networks have space limitations, so in simple terms, network congestion is very much the same as peak hour traffic.

Think of the queues on the road at certain times of the day, like early mornings and the end of the working day. Too much traffic crowding onto the same road can become bottlenecked when it tries to merge, and the result is that it doesn’t reach its destination on time.

At peak times, when network traffic hits its maximum limit, packets are discarded and must wait to be delivered. Fortunately, most software is designed to either automatically retrieve and resend those discarded packets or slow down transfer speed.

2. Network hardware problems

The speed with which hardware becomes outdated or redundant these days is another major problem for your network. Hardware such as firewalls, routers, and network switches consume a lot of power, and can considerably weaken network signals. Sometimes organizations overlook the need to update hardware during expansions or mergers and this can contribute to packet loss or connectivity outages.

3. Software bugs

Closely related to faulty hardware is a buggy software running on the network device. Bugs or glitches in your system can sometimes be responsible for disrupting network performance and preventing the delivery of packets. Hardware reboots and patches may fix bugs.

4. Overtaxed devices

When a network is operating at a higher capacity than it was designed to handle, it weakens and becomes unable to process packets, and drops them. Most devices have built-in buffers to assign packets to holding patterns until they can be sent.

5. Wifi packet loss vs wireless packet loss

As a rule, wireless networks experience more issues with packet loss than wired networks. Radio frequency interference, weaker signals, distance and physical barriers like walls can all cause wireless networks to drop packets.

With wired networks, faulty cables can be the culprit, impeding signal flow through the cable.

6. Security threats

If you’re noticing unusually high rates of packet drop, the problem could be a security breach. Cybercriminals hack into your router and instruct it to drop packets. Another way that hackers can cause packet loss is to execute a denial-of-service attack (DoS), preventing legitimate users from accessing files, emails, or online accounts by flooding the network with too much traffic to handle. Packet loss can be difficult to fix during a full-blown security.

7. Deficient infrastructure

This highlights the importance of a comprehensive network monitoring solution. Some out-of-packet monitoring tools were not engineered for the job they’ve been assigned to do and have limited functionality.

The only way to effectively deal with packet loss issues is to deploy a seamless network monitoring and troubleshooting platform that can view your entire system from a single window. In a nutshell, comprehensive network monitoring solution = packet loss fix.

Ping and packet loss

When it comes to the determining what constitutes a strong internet connection, and the reduction of random packet loss, there are three factors to consider: upload speed, download speed and ping.

Upload speed

This is how fast you can send data to others. Uploading is used when sending large files through email, or in using video to chat with others. Upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Download speed

This is how fast you can pull data from the server to you. By default, connections are designed to download more quickly than they upload. Download speed is also measured in Mbps.


This is the reaction time of your connection, or how quickly you get a response after sending out a request. A fast ping means a more responsive connection, and this is especially important in real-time applications like gaming, and voice and video calls. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms).

Anything below a ping of 20 ms is considered ideal, while anything over 150 ms would result in noticeable lag.

Even though your ping is good you may still be having issues with packet loss. because although the data is being sent and ultimately received quickly by the destination server, some data might not be getting there correctly.

The effects of packet loss

For users, packet loss can be more than annoying, particularly in real-time processes like VoIP and video conferencing. According to a QoS tutorial by Cisco, packet loss on VoIP traffic should be kept below 1% and between 0.05% and 5% depending on the type of video.

Different applications are affected by packet loss in different ways. For example, when downloading data files, a 10% packet loss might add only one second to a ten second download. If packet loss rate is higher, or there is high latency, it can cause delays to be worse.

Real-time applications like voice and video will be affected more severely by packet loss. Something as small as a 2% packet loss is usually quite noticeable to a listener or viewer, and can cause the conversation to be stilted and unintelligible.

The effects of packet loss also differs depending on the application/protocol (TCP/UDP) If a packet is dropped, or not acknowledged, TCP protocol is designed to retransmit it. UDP, however, doesn’t have the capability to retransmit, and therefore doesn’t handle packet loss as well.

Diagnosing and fixing packet loss

Everyone has experienced packet loss in voice calls. This is where comprehensive network monitoring and troubleshooting comes into its own. Network monitoring can quickly and accurately diagnose and identify the root causes of packet loss problems such as in the following examples.

Example 1:

During a Skype call, the quality deteriorates and becomes distorted and patchy, or eventually drops out completely. But even though Skype may be having issues, you might still be able to successfully communicate using TeamSpeak, Google Hangouts or WhatsApp. This is because of the difference in the way that each specific program transmits over the internet, and the route that the packets take.

Example 2:

You may be on a call with a perfect connection to a server in Springfield, IL but then find you’re experiencing an exceptionally high packet loss when connecting to a server in Richmond, VA. This would indicate problems with the pipeline between your location and the server in Richmond.

Do a ping test

A ping test is a diagnostic tool that provides data on how well an internet-enabled device communicates with another endpoint. A ping test can assess network delays or issues by sending an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packet – or ping – to a specific destination.

ICMP packets contain only a tiny amount of information, so they don’t use much bandwidth. When the ping reaches the device, that device recognizes and replies to the originating device. The total time taken for the ping to arrive and return is recorded as ‘ping time’ or ‘round trip time’.

If the number of packets sent and received are not equal, this means some packets never arrived to or from your phone. This inevitably leads to call quality issues like choppy voices, extended silences, jumbled audio and other call quality problems.

Deep packet inspection

Any organization with a private network will have hundreds or even thousands of unique connections and data transfers every day.

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is an in-depth way of examining and managing network traffic. DPI is one of the most important tasks that network administrators need to carry out. It locates, identifies, blocks or re-routes packets with specific data or code. It examines the contents of packets passing through a given point and determines what the packet contains. Most network packets are split into three parts:

Header – containing instructions about the data carried by the packet such as length, synchronization, packet number, protocol as well as originating and destination addresses.

Payload – the actual data contents, or body of the packet.

Trailer – also referred to as the footer tells the receiving device that it has reached the end of the packet.

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Traceroute packet loss and high latency

Traceroute is a command-line tool that comes with Windows and other operating systems. Along with the ping command, it’s an important tool for understanding Internet connection problems, including packet loss and high latency.

If you’re having trouble connecting to a website, traceroute can tell you where the problem is. It can also help visualize the path traffic takes between your computer and a web server.

Monitoring packet loss

Every network experiences some degree of packet loss, but what is acceptable? The most important thing to remember is that prevention is better than cure when implementing packet loss solutions.

Network monitoring should be the first strategy you use to preserve and uphold the integrity of your network environment. Regularly scanning your devices will ensure that your routers are capable of handling capacity, and your system is equipped to prevent data loss.

Summary – addressing network packet loss

This comprehensive guide has been created to define network packet loss, and to help identify, understand and troubleshoot the most common problems related to packet loss in computer networks.

The key takeaways are that network jitter, network packet loss and latency, are major obstacles standing in the way of clear communication and can universally affect your user experience. For further insightful information on network performance complications, download our additional guides on the full explanation of latency, jitter and packet loss:

› What is Network Jitter? A Complete Guide to Understanding, Monitoring and Fixing Jitter.

› What is Network Latency? A Complete Guide to Understanding, Monitoring and Fixing Network Latency.

Prognosis UC Assessor is a 100% software-based solution that can find and fix problems before migration without the need for network probes.

Ensure a positive end-user experience with one-click troubleshooting for all network issues affecting UC performance. Deployment and getting started is quick, generating insights within minutes of installation across multiple sites within your environment.

You can improve IT efficiency with the ability to operate and troubleshoot your entire multi-vendor UC environment from a single viewing point.

Reduce costly outages and service interruptions with automated, intelligent alerts.

Plan, deploy and migrate new technologies with confidence.

Download a PDF copy of the Optimizing your Network Guide


Normal is packet loss

Packet loss

Transmitted data not making it to where it's supposed to go

Packet loss occurs when one or more packets of data travelling across a computer network fail to reach their destination. Packet loss is either caused by errors in data transmission, typically across wireless networks,[1][2] or network congestion.[3] Packet loss is measured as a percentage of packets lost with respect to packets sent.

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) detects packet loss and performs retransmissions to ensure reliable messaging. Packet loss in a TCP connection is also used to avoid congestion and thus produces an intentionally reduced throughput for the connection.

In real-time applications like streaming media or online games, packet loss can affect a user's quality of experience (QoE).


The Internet Protocol (IP) is designed according to the end-to-end principle as a best-effort delivery service, with the intention of keeping the logic routers must implement as simple as possible. If the network made reliable delivery guarantees on its own, that would require store and forward infrastructure, where each router devotes a significant amount of storage space to packets while it waits to verify that the next node properly received them. A reliable network would not be able to maintain its delivery guarantees in the event of a router failure. Reliability is also not needed for all applications. For example, with live streaming media, it is more important to deliver recent packets quickly than to ensure that stale packets are eventually delivered. An application or user may also decide to retry an operation that is taking a long time, in which case another set of packets will be added to the burden of delivering the original set. Such a network might also need a command and control protocol for congestion management, adding even more complexity.

To avoid all of these problems, the Internet Protocol allows for routers to simply drop packets if the router or a network segment is too busy to deliver the data in a timely fashion. This is not ideal for speedy and efficient transmission of data, and is not expected to happen in an uncongested network.[4] Dropping of packets acts as an implicit signal that the network is congested, and may cause senders to reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed, or attempt to find another path. For example, using perceived packet loss as feedback to discover congestion, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is designed so that excessive packet loss will cause the sender to throttle back and stop flooding the bottleneck point with data.[5]

Packets may also be dropped if the IPv4 header checksum or the Ethernet frame check sequence indicates the packet has been corrupted. Packet loss can also be caused by a packet drop attack.

Wireless networks[edit]

Wireless networks are susceptible to a number of factors that can corrupt or lose packets in transit, such as radio frequency interference (RFI),[6] radio signals that are too weak due to distance or multi-path fading, faulty networking hardware, or faulty network drivers.

Wi-Fi is inherently unreliable and even when two identical Wi-Fi receivers are placed within close proximity of each other, they do not exhibit similar patterns of packet loss, as one might expect.[7]

Cellular networks can experience packet loss caused by, "high bit error rate (BER), unstable channel characteristics, and user mobility."[8] TCP's intentional throttling behavior prevents wireless networks from performing near their theoretical potential transfer rates because unmodified TCP treats all dropped packets as if they were caused by network congestion, and so may throttle wireless networks even when they aren't actually congested.[8]

Network congestion[edit]

Network congestion is a cause of packet loss that can affect all types of networks. When content arrives for a sustained period at a given router or network segment at a rate greater than it is possible to send through, there is no other option than to drop packets.[3] If a single router or link is constraining the capacity of the complete travel path or of network travel in general, it is known as a bottleneck. In some cases, packets are intentionally dropped by routing routines,[9] or through network dissuasion technique for operational management purposes.[10]


Packet loss directly reduces throughput for a given sender as some sent data is never received and can't be counted as throughput. Packet loss indirectly reduces throughput as some transport layer protocols interpret loss as an indication of congestion and adjust their transmission rate to avoid congestive collapse.

When reliable delivery is necessary, packet loss increases latency due to additional time needed for retransmission.[a] Assuming no retransmission, packets experiencing the worst delays might be preferentially dropped (depending on the queuing discipline used), resulting in lower latency overall.


Packet loss may be measured as frame loss rate defined as the percentage of frames that should have been forwarded by a network but were not.[11]

Acceptable packet loss[edit]

Packet loss is closely associated with quality of service considerations. The amount of packet loss that is acceptable depends on the type of data being sent. For example, for voice over IP traffic, one commentator reckoned that "[m]issing one or two packets every now and then will not affect the quality of the conversation. Losses between 5% and 10% of the total packet stream will affect the quality significantly."[12] Another described less than 1% packet loss as "good" for streaming audio or video, and 1–2.5% as "acceptable".[13]


Packet loss is detected by reliable protocols such as TCP. Reliable protocols react to packet loss automatically, so when a person such as a network administrator needs to detect and diagnose packet loss, they typically use status information from network equipment or purpose-built tools.

The Internet Control Message Protocol provides an echo functionality, where a special packet is transmitted that always produces a reply. Tools such as ping, traceroute, and MTR use this protocol to provide a visual representation of the path packets are taking, and to measure packet loss at each hop.[b]

Many routers have status pages or logs, where the owner can find the number or percentage of packets dropped over a particular period.

Packet recovery for reliable delivery[edit]

Per the end-to-end principle, the Internet Protocol leaves responsibility for packet recovery through the retransmission of dropped packets to the endpoints - the computers sending and receiving the data. They are in the best position to decide whether retransmission is necessary because the application sending the data should know whether a message is best retransmitted in whole or in part, whether or not the need to send the message has passed, and how to control the amount of bandwidth consumed to account for any congestion.

Network transport protocols such as TCP provide endpoints with an easy way to ensure reliable delivery of packets so that individual applications don't need to implement the logic for this themselves. In the event of packet loss, the receiver asks for retransmission or the sender automatically resends any segments that have not been acknowledged.[15] Although TCP can recover from packet loss, retransmitting missing packets reduces the throughput of the connection as receivers wait for retransmissions and additional bandwidth is consumed by them. In certain variants of TCP, if a transmitted packet is lost, it will be re-sent along with every packet that had already been sent after it.

Protocols such as User Datagram Protocol (UDP) provide no recovery for lost packets. Applications that use UDP are expected to implement their own mechanisms for handling packet loss, if needed.

Impact of queuing discipline[edit]

There are many queuing disciplines used for determining which packets to drop. Most basic networking equipment will use FIFO queuing for packets waiting to go through the bottleneck and they will drop the packet if the queue is full at the time the packet is received. This type of packet dropping is called tail drop. Other full queue mechanisms include random early drop or weighted random early drop. Dropping packets is undesirable as the packet is either lost or must be retransmitted and this can impact real-time throughput; however, increasing the buffer size can lead to bufferbloat which has its own impact on latency and jitter during congestion.

In cases where quality of service is rate limiting a connection, e.g., using a leaky bucket algorithm, packets may be intentionally dropped in order to slow down specific services to ensure available bandwidth for other services marked with higher importance. For this reason, packet loss is not necessarily an indication of poor connection reliability or signs of a bandwidth bottleneck.

See also[edit]


  1. ^During typical network congestion, not all packets in a stream are dropped. This means that undropped packets will arrive with low latency compared to retransmitted packets, which arrive with high latency. Not only do the retransmitted packets have to travel part of the way twice, but the sender will not realize the packet has been dropped until it either fails to receive acknowledgment of receipt in the expected order or fails to receive acknowledgment for a long enough time that it assumes the packet has been dropped as opposed to merely delayed.
  2. ^In some cases, these tools may indicate drops for packets that are terminating in a small number of hops, but not those making it to the destination. For example, routers may give echoing of ICMP packets low priority and drop them preferentially in favor of spending resources on genuine data; this is generally considered an artifact of testing and can be ignored in favor of end-to-end results.[14]


  1. ^
  2. ^Tian, Ye; Xu, Kai; Ansari, Nirwan (March 2005). "TCP in Wireless Environments: Problems and Solutions"(PDF). IEEE Radio Communications. 43 (3): S27–S32. doi:10.1109/MCOM.2005.1404595. S2CID 735922. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  3. ^ abKurose, J.F. & Ross, K.W. (2010). Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach. New York: Addison-Wesley. p. 36.
  4. ^Kurose, J.F.; Ross, K.W. (2010). Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach. New York: Addison-Wesley. pp. 42–43.
  5. ^Kurose, J.F. & Ross, K.W. (2008). Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach. New York: Addison-Wesley. p. 282-283.
  6. ^David C. Salyers, Aaron Striegel, Christian Poellabauer, Wireless Reliability: Rethinking 802.11 Packet Loss(PDF), archived from the original(PDF) on 2019-07-12, retrieved 2019-05-12CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^David C. Salyers, Aaron Striegel, Christian Poellabauer, Wireless Reliability: Rethinking 802.11 Packet Loss(PDF), archived from the original(PDF) on 2019-07-12, retrieved 2019-03-09CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ abYe Tian; Kai Xu; Nirwan Ansari (March 2005). "TCP in Wireless Environments: Problems and Solutions"(PDF). IEEE Radio Communications. IEEE. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  9. ^Perkins, C.E. (2001). Ad Hoc Networking. Boston: Addison-Wesley. p. 147.
  10. ^"Controlling Applications by Managing Network Characteristics" Vahab Pournaghshband, Leonard Kleinrock, Peter Reiher, and Alexander Afanasyev ICC 2012
  11. ^RFC 1242
  12. ^Mansfield, K.C. & Antonakos, J.L. (2010). Computer Networking from LANs to WANs: Hardware, Software, and Security. Boston: Course Technology, Cengage Learning. p. 501.
  13. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2013-05-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^"Packet loss or latency at intermediate hops". Retrieved 2007-02-25.
  15. ^Kurose, J.F. & Ross, K.W. (2010). Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach. New York: Addison-Wesley. p. 242.

External links[edit]

Packet Loss Example - Valorant

"Shake it?" I ran to the column. Yesterday's watering was repeated. When Aunt Tanya stood with her back to me, the robe pulled up and opened her ass in translucent panties almost entirely, when she.

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Knew everyone on the site and there were no such people here. It was a shame for myself that I was deceived. Climbing into the apartment, she walked past the still open window, looked at him reproachfully, as if it could mean something. Several days passed and I got sick.

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