hop count - Computer Definition
The number of point-to-point links in a transmission path. Since each link is terminated at a network device such as a router or gateway, the processing performed within the device to determine how to forward the packet adds overhead to the transmission. Although each point-to-point link is technically a hop, the hop count is the number of network devices between the starting node and the destination node. An IP packet traveling over the Internet can easily "hop" through more than a dozen routers.