Types of Network Communication, Unicast, Multicast and Broadcast

Types of Network Communication: Unicast, Multicast and Broadcast

Devices in the network send messages over the network using any one of the communication techniques as listed below, as Unicast, Multicast and Broadcast.

We all know that devices in the network communicate with each other. But how does this communication happens? Devices in the network send messages over the network using any one of the communication techniques as listed below.

  1. Unicast
  2. Multicast
  3. Broadcast

Unicast:

The communication technique in which data transmission is done between two devices those are present in the network is known as Unicast. More often it is considered as one to one or point to point communication.

Best example for Unicast communication is the communication between server and client. Consider an example of browsing over internet. When we request an address or a host name in the browser of client, the request directly goes to the web server of particular address.

The server analyse the request, process it and sends the web page to the client. Here the communication is only between server and client. This type of communication is considered as Unicast communication. Downloading files from a FTP server is also a good example of Unicast.

Multicast:

The communication technique in which data transmission is done between a particular group of devices those are present in the network is known as Multicast. This is similar to group message that we send through SMS or sending e-mail to a particular mailing group.

 Though there are many contacts in our mobile phone, we select a particular group to send particular message. Multicast make use of IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) protocol to identify its group. Each group is assigned with an IP address from class D (224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255) of IPV4.

The best example of multicast communication is Video conference or teleconference.  In a video conference or a teleconference, a user in the group initiates the call and the people in that particular group of people can participate in the conference. 

Broadcast:

Broadcast is similar to that of multicast. The only difference between them is that in multicast only a particular group of devices receive packets, whereas in broadcasting all the devices that are connected over the network receive packets.

Broadcast send messages to all the devices over network tough they may not need those messages. Broadcast is similar to sending messages or mails to all addresses present in our contact list. Segmenting the network with the help of routers will limit the spread of broadcast messages. Routers will not allow the broadcast messages to the from one segment to another segment

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