Out-of-order delivery

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In computer networking, out-of-order delivery is the delivery of data packets in a different order from which they were sent. Out-of-order delivery can be caused by packets following multiple paths through a network, or via parallel processing paths within network equipment that are not designed to ensure that packet ordering is preserved. One of the functions of TCP is to prevent the out-of-order delivery of data, either by reassembling packets into order or forcing retries of out-of-order packets.

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