Protocol overhead refers to metadata and network routing information sent by an application, which uses a portion of the available bandwidth of a communications protocol. This extra data, making up the protocol headers and application-specific information is referred to as overhead, since it does not contribute to the content of the message.
- Common Performance Issues in Network Applications Part 1: Interactive Applications, Windows XP Technical Articles, Microsoft
- Protocol Overhead in IP/ATM Networks, Minnesota Supercomputer Center
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