When data is sent over the Internet, each unit transmitted includes both header information and the actual data being sent. The header identifies the source and destination of the packet, while the actual data is referred to as the payload. Because header information, or overhead data, is only used in the transmission process, it is stripped from the packet when it reaches its destination. Therefore, the payload is the only data received by the destination system.
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This page contains a technical definition of Payload. It explains in computing terminology what Payload means and is one of many Internet terms in the TechTerms dictionary.
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