Minimum and maximum Ethernet frame sizes

In this Q&A, Lindi Horton answers the question "What is the minimum and maximum size of an Ethernet frame that carries an IP packet which in turn carries an ICMP packet?"

What is the minimum size of an Ethernet frame that carries an IP packet which in turn carries an ICMP packet? What is the maximum size?

The minimum size of an Ethernet frame that carries an ICMP packet is 74 bytes. You can test this by installing a packet analyzer on your desktop and by running a ping packet with no options to a destination inside your network. It will generate a 74 byte packet with a 60 byte IP Header, 8 byte ICMP header, and Ethernet Frame size.

The maximum size supported is where you can adjust the data options in the ICMP payload to add additional length to the packet. This would be limited by the MTU which in an Ethernet LAN would be 1500 bytes by default.

This was first published in October 2006

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