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"packet" and "package" are synonyms when we refer to mailings, but does the same apply to "network packet"?

My co-worker frequently says: "network package". It's like nails on a chalkboard to me, but is it correct?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Packet and package are certainly different in IT terms.

A packet is a small piece of data, that needs to be combined with other packets to create a whole. This is how data is transmitted over a network, by breaking it into packets of a few bytes: http://www.computeruser.com/dictionary/packet/

A package refers to an entire piece of software, that can be installed and operated by a user: http://www.computeruser.com/dictionary/software-package/

A software package would be broken into packets to be sent over a network, and the packets would then be reassembled into a package at the destination.

Network package is technically incorrect, although the meaning can be easily inferred.

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Yup. If I hear “network package” out of context, I'll think it means the component of the operating system or application that contains the code to handle networking. –  Gilles Apr 30 '11 at 13:33
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