"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?


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.

  • 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 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 30 '11 at 13:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.