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In order for the communication shown in the figure above to function, the data formats must be "packed" into one another:

  • the protocol information of the individual layers is stored around the actual user data - from the highest to the lowest layer.
  • The protocol information consists of a header (e.g. with address information) and, for some protocols, a trailer.
  • During the data flow through the individual layers, the data is "packed" on the sending communication system and later "unpacked" on the receiver in reverse order.