What Is X.25 in Computer Networking?

Definition: X.25 is a standard suite of protocols used for packet switching across computer networks. The X.25 protocols works at the physical, data link, and network layers (Layers 1 to 3) of the OSI model.

Each X.25 packets contains up to 128 bytes of data. The X.25 network handles packet assembly at the source device, delivery, and then dis-assembly at the destination. X.25 packet delivery technology includes not only switching and network-layer routing, but also error checking and re-transmission logic should delivery failures occur.

X.25 supports multiple simultaneous conversations by multiplexing packets and using virtual communication channels.

X.25 was originally designed more than 25 years ago to carry voice over analog telephone lines (dialup networks). Typical applications of X.25 today include automatic teller machine networks and credit card verification networks. X.25 also supports a variety of mainframe terminal/server applications.

With the widespread acceptance of Internet Protocol (IP) as a standard for corporate networks, many X.25 applications are now being migrated to cheaper solutions using IP as the network layer protocol and replacing the lower layers of X.25 with Ethernet or ATM hardware.