Packet loss is the failure of one or more transmitted packets to arrive at their destination. This event can cause noticeable effects in all types of digital communications.
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The effects of packet loss:
- In data, packet loss produces errors.
- In videoconference environments it can create jitter.
- In pure audio communications, such as VoIP, it can cause jitter and frequent gaps in received speech.
- In the worst cases, packet loss can cause severe mutilation of received data, broken-up images, unintelligible speech or even the complete absence of a received signal.
The causes of packet loss include inadequate signal strength at the destination, natural or human-made interference, excessive system noise, hardware failure, software corruption or overburdened network nodes. Often more than one of these factors is involved.
In a case where the cause can not be remedied, packet loss concealment may be used to minimize the effects of lost packets.