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What is ECN or Explicit Congestion Notification?

Explicit Congestion Notification, which is also widely described in the world of computer networking with its renowned abbreviation ECN, is actually or normally categorized under the extensions’ category of the term Internet Protocol as well as of Transmission Control Protocol. RFC 3168 is the computing term used to define or describe ECN in the protocols’ world.

Basic function of Explicit Congestion Notification or you may say ECN is actually allowing notification called or known as end-to-end notification without packets dropping of the network congestion. ECN actually is recognized being an optional or not-necessary feature of the Internet Protocol which is brought in use normally when it is supported by both endpoints of the traffic or you may say when both endpoints are seen willing or capable of using it.

Explicit Congestion Protocol or you may say ECN is known as effective only when underlying network supports this extension type which is an option feature of Internet Protocol. Traditionally, dropping packets in the signals of networks known as TCP / IP networks is often but when negotiations of ECN are done successfully, a mark is set by a router which is recognized as an ECN-aware router in the header of IP instead of packet dropping just to congestion of signal impending.

Congestion indication is echoed to the sender by the packet receiver in ECN-aware network which should be reacted by the packet sender just like it reacts at the packet dropping time. Though ECN may stop packet dropping but still some buggy or you may say outdated network equipment still continue dropping packets with the bits set of ECN instead of ignoring bits.


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