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Written by Administrator. Posted in Network Fundamentals


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.


In example above, my workstation sends a request to the Windows 2000 Server. The request is a simple Unicast because it's directed to one machine (the server) and nothing else. You just need to keep in mind that because we are talking about a Ethernet network, the traffic, hence the packets, are seen by all machines (in this case the Linux Server aswell) but they will not process them once they see that the destination MAC address in the packets do not match their own and are also not set to FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF which would indicate that the packet is a broadcast

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