Common Causes of Packet Loss

The transmission and reception of data packets, which are units of data that are sent out and received by a router, are components of the process of connecting a device to the internet or a network. So, what is packet loss? The term “packet loss” denotes the condition in which a packet or multiple packets are unable to traverse the network between the gateway and the device. The likelihood of packet loss increases when they are required to travel a greater distance than necessary. It is imperative to possess the ability to prevent the loss of packets, regardless of whether they are transmitted via the internet, Wi-Fi, or ping, to monitor the performance of a network. So, what is the cause of the packet loss? Let us examine a few of the scenarios that may result in packet loss.

Common Causes of Packet Loss

Most Common Causes of Packet Loss 

Network Congestion

As the name implies, congestion on a network is comparable to the type of congestion that may be observed on a highway. The number of vehicles on an eight-lane highway may be moving at a consistent pace; however, during peak hours, the number of cars on the same roadway may increase or even quadruple, rendering it impossible for them to operate at their typical velocities and causing all other vehicles to move at a slower pace.  The same can be said for the network’s traffic. Certain packets will inevitably be required to wait until the network’s capacity is attained. Packets are the initial items to be abandoned when a network is attempting to play catch-up. Regrettably, a connection is limited in its capacity to transmit a specific quantity of data while it is established.

A close-up of a computer

Description automatically generated

Threats to the Software

Packet loss is an additional potential consequence of a security vulnerability. Cybercriminals have discovered that they can conduct a packet drop attack. A cyber attacker assumes control of a router and transmits instructions that dump packet data into a stream. A command-and-control violation is the term used to describe this type of breach. It is conceivable that a packet loss attack is currently underway if a company experiences an abnormally high rate of packet loss over a network in a relatively brief period.

Software Bugs and Issues with the Network Hardware

If flaws remain unchecked in your system, the network’s performance can be disrupted, and packets may not be transported to the appropriate level. This issue may be resolved by restarting your hardware; however, it is imperative to patch them in their totality, as vulnerabilities are frequently identified during hardware updates. In addition, hardware that is old, defective, or otherwise obsolete can significantly compromise your network. Firewalls, routers, and network switches all consume a substantial quantity of electricity. If your business expands beyond the capacity of your equipment, you risk either a complete loss of connectivity or a loss of packets.

Overloaded Devices

A device may become overwhelmed when numerous online services and applications are launched simultaneously. When hundreds, if not thousands, of devices are simultaneously connected to the network, the entire network may be operating at a capacity level that it was not initially designed to accommodate. Packets may reach their intended destinations when devices are subjected to excessive duress. However, the network may have already become too vulnerable to process the packets and transmit them back out when this happens. Packets can be stored in a holding pattern until they are prepared for transmission on a wide range of devices, including transient storage. This resource can become overloaded in a brief period, which may lead to the loss of some packets.


Packet loss occurs because of several factors, including network congestion, software threats, bugs, network issues, and overloaded devices. Therefore, if you wish to avoid packet loss, make sure that you check your system carefully and avoid these common causes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top