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A packet-based deadband control approach is proposed for networked control systems (NCSs). Compared with previously reported packet-based control approaches to NCSs, the approach proposed in this paper takes full advantage of the packet-based data transmission in NCSs, and thus considerably reduces the use of the communication resources in NCSs whilst maintaining the system performance at a satisfactory level. A stabilized controller design method is obtained using time delay switched system theory, which has not been achieved in previously reported packet-based control approaches. The proposed deadband control strategy and the stabilized controller design method are verified using a numerical example as well as practical experiments based on an Internet-based test rig for NCSs.