The standard header that is used in$IPv4$ contains key information about an Internet Protocol (IP) packet. Information includes the source and destination IP addresses of the datagram, fragmentation control parameters, and packet length. Another key element of this header is the TTL field. The TTL field consists of a single byte and is capable of holding a value from $0–255. $
Because IP is connectionless, the TTL field was included in the IP header by the original designers as a mechanism to limit the life span of packets within the network. A routing loop is the most common example used to illustrate why this functionality is required. Without such a control mechanism, a routing loop could cause a packet to circle a network infinitely, depleting bandwidth and eventually destabilizing the network. As insurance against this outcome, the TTL value of an IP datagram is decremented by a value of one each time the packet is forwarded by a network device. Thus, an IP packet can never be forwarded more than $254$ times, preventing the infinite packet loop problem.