What is Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU)

In this article, we are going to discuss maximum transmission unit (MTU).

For an internet connection to work, there are bundles of data that are sent through the router. The efficiency of these data being taken through and being processed determines the experience that one is able to get from their connection. The optimal amount of data that can be processed at any given point is what is usually referred to the maximum transmission unit. But there is more to the MTUs than meets the eye which is why this is a topic that might strike a lot of interest in a lot of people.

What are MTUs?

While a little about MTU had been touched on earlier before you’re able to understand the effect of an MTU you first have to understand what it entails in a technical world. In detail, an MTU is the largest size of a frame or packet in a number of specified octets that can be sent in a frame or packet over a network like an internet for instance. Note that the world octet in this context refers to eight-bit bytes that are used in the transmission of the packets.

How the Size of an MTU affects the internet connectivity.

There are a variety of reasons as to why it is important to make sure that you have the right or the optimal transmission unit. These include;

  • Most people may think that having bigger than optimal packets processed at once would be a great option considering that this would mean that there is more data going over the system at any given point. However, not only will this require you to have more processing done that can cause the system to hang but in the event that you have a router that cannot be able to handle the extra large weight, it may be forced to process the same data over and over which can create and overhead and cause the network to jam and finally collapse.
  • Seeing how devastating opting to go for the larger transmission unit can be, you may think that going smaller could be a great option but that also has its fair share of problems. Not only will sending smaller maximum transmission units to take longer to process but you will need to send to more packets or frames which can overload the system and cause it jam.

How to choose the ideal MTU for your connection.

  • In most computers, you will not have to worry about having the ideal settings. A good number of the computers come with the value for the MTU already set but you can be able to change this as you deem fit.
  • Before you decide on the value that you would like to settle for as your MTU, it is vital that you talk to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) so that you’re aware of the speeds of their connection as well as the value that will work well on their network.

Now that you understand what an MTU is and how it affects how you are able to connect to the internet, it is worth noting that this plays an important role on how fast you’re able to connect to the internet and get pages loaded.