When using diagnostic tools such as
traceroute, you may have noticed a term being used called "packet loss." This is an important metric that shows whether or not all your packets have made it to the destination server; any value greater than zero (>0%) is an indicates that a packet has been lost.
Packet loss often occurs with a client-side networking issue; from being too far away from your wireless network to a faulty network cable -- even a solar flare passing through can interfere with the delivery of traffic.
However, that is not to say that packet loss always occurs due to a client issue! As mentioned above, it only happens to most users as a result of their own network, however, packet loss can occur anywhere throughout a packet's journey to a particular destination. Packet loss can occur due to any one (or more) of the following:
Having listed some of the most common ways that packet loss can occur, it becomes clear that it is very easy for a packet to be lost (once in a while). If packet loss occurs often to a specific network, it may be an issue of congestion; however, if packet loss only occurs on traffic exiting your network, it will likely be an issue with your wiring, choice of cabling or local congestion.
A Distributed Denial of Service attack is a category of attacks that target multiple areas on a server.
Packet loss describes the percentage of packets that get lost during transit between a destination and source.
Ping is a tool used to measure latency, on the 3rd layer, to either a local or remote host.
Traceroute is a network diagnostic tool used for finding the path taken by a network packet to reach a destination IP.