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Network Broadcast

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Network Broadcast - 4.5 out of 5 based on 20 votes

Introduction

The term "Broadcast" is used very frequently in the networking world . You will see it in most networking books and articles, or see it happening on your hub/switch when all the LED's start flashing at the same time !

If you have been into networking for a while you most probably have come across the terms "broadcast" and "subnet broadcast" . When I first dived into the networking world, I was constantly confused between the two, because they both carried the "broadcast" term in them. We will analyse both of them here, to help you understand exactly what they are and how they are used !

Multicast IP Address List

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Multicast IP Address List - 4.5 out of 5 based on 8 votes

Introduction

This page contains all the Multicast IP Addresses and shows what protocol they are mapped to. Should you ever use a packet sniffer to try and see what's on the network and you capture a packet with a destination IP Address of 224.X.X.X, then simply look up this list and you will know what the purpose of that packet was :)

Multicast - Understand How IP Multicast Works

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Multicast - Understand How IP Multicast Works - 4.5 out of 5 based on 69 votes

To understand what we are going to talk about, you must be familiar with how MAC addresses are structured and how they work. The MAC Addresses page is available to help you learn more about them.


A multicast is similar to a broadcast in the sense that its target is a number of machines on a network, but not all. Where a broadcast is directed to all hosts on the network, a multicast is directed to a group of hosts. The hosts can choose whether they wish to participate in the multicast group (often done with the Internet Group Management Protocol), whereas in a broadcast, all hosts are part of the broadcast group whether they like it or not!

Unicast

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Unicast - 4.5 out of 5 based on 22 votes

Introduction

Compaired to broadcasts and Multicasts, a Unicast is very simple and one of the most common data transmissions in a network. This article  explains what unicats are and how they are used within the Local Area Network to allow hosts to communication with each other.

The Reason for Unicast

Well it's pretty obvious why they came up with Unicasts, imagine trying to send data between 2 computers on a network, using broadcasts ! All you would get would be a very slow transfer and possibly a conjested network with low bandwidth availability.

Data transfers are almost all of the times, unicasts. You have the sender e.g a webserver and the receiver e.g a workstation. Data is transfered between these two hosts only, where as a broadcast or a multicast is destined either everyone or just a group of computers.

unicast-1

Media Access Control - MAC Addresses

Posted in Network Fundamentals

Media Access Control - MAC Addresses - 4.5 out of 5 based on 22 votes

Introduction

Media Access Control (MAC) addresses are talked about in various sections on the site, such as the OSI-Layer 2, Multicast, Broadcast and Unicast. We are going to analyse them in depth here so we can get a firm understanding of them since they are part of the fundamentals of networking.

MAC addresses are physical addresses, unlike IP addresses which are logical addresses. Logical addresses require you to load special drivers and protocols in order to be able to configure your network card/computer with an IP Address, whereas a MAC address doesn't require any drivers whatsoever. The reason for this is that the MAC address is actually "burnt-in" into your network card's memory chipset.

The Reason for MAC

Each computer on a network needs to be identified in some way. If you're thinking of IP addresses, then you're correct to some extent, because an IP address does identify one unique machine on a network, but that is not enough.

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