I understand how the layer works to an extent, but cannot seem to figure out if the data link handles big frames more efficiently due to error detection or small frames better.

I am assuming from my understanding that the data link works better with small frames as it can save time by not having to keep retransmitting larger frames when an error is detected.

Is this reasoning correct?

Have not used stackexchange in a long while so apologies if these type of questions are no longer permitted

  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 7, 2017 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


Ethernet has no facility for error corrections or re-transmission when errors are detected. Any frames with errors are discarded immediately. Upper-layer protocols, such as TCP, must handle any missing datagrams and ask that they be re-transmitted.

Networks generally assume it is better to drop traffic as soon as possible. Some transport protocols, such as UDP, have no expectation that anything sent will be received, and some applications, such as VoIP or video, are tolerant of some missing data since it would be much more disruptive to ask for the missing data to be resent.

The size of the layer-2 frame is only important in that it be at least as large as the minimum frame size, and no larger than the maximum frame size. You seem to be suggesting something which has been often debated about the transport segment size, especially when it comes to UDP.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.