8 Major Difference Between Multicast And Broadcast

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What Is Multicast?

Multicast in computer networking is communication between a single sender and multiple receivers on a network. Multicast can be one-to-many or many-to-many distribution. Multicast should not be confused with physical layer point-to-multipoint communication.

In multicast, a multicast group identifies a set of recipients that are interested in a particular data stream and is represented by an IP address from a well-defined range. Data sent to this IP address is forwarded to all members of the multicast group.

Routers between the source and recipients duplicate data packets and forward multiple copies wherever the path to recipients diverges.  Group membership information is used to calculate the best routers at which to duplicate the packets in the data stream to optimize the use of the network.

A source hosts sends data to a multicast group by simply setting the destination address of the datagram to be the multicast group. Sources do not need to register in any way before they can begin sending data to a group and do not require being members of the group themselves.

What You Need To Know About Multicast

  1. In multicast communication, packet is delivered to the intended recipients only.
  2. In multicast, the relationship between source and destination is one-to-many.
  3. Multicasting requires group management as it is necessary to specify the hosts that should receive the packets.
  4. Multicasting is more secured.
  5. Multicasting is faster due to less traffic.
  6. Bandwidth is effectively utilized in multicasting as the packet is delivered only to those hosts which are interested in receiving the packet.
  7. In multitasking traffic is under control as packets are delivered to interested hosts only thereby reducing the traffic on the network.
  8. In multitasking, the router may forward the received packet through several of its interfaces.

What Is Broadcast?

Broadcast in computer networking is communication between a single sender and all the host connected to the network. In broadcast communication, the relationship between source and destination is one-to-all. There is only one source, but all other hosts are destinations. The destination address in the packet is the special broadcast address and if the packet has a broadcast address, all devices that receive that message will process it.

In broadcast, routers don’t forward broadcast messages. The router will receive the broadcast traffic, but it will not forward it through the router. Traffic streams from a single point to all possible endpoints within reach on the network which is generally a LAN.

Broadcast should not be confused with unicast, a transmission to a specific receiver (like most e-mail messages) or anycast, a transmission to the nearest of a group of routers, used in Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) as a technique for chain-updating a group of routers with new routing information.

Broadcasting is not practical on the public internet due to the massive amount of unnecessary data that would continually reach at each user’s device, the complications and impact of scrambling and related privacy issues.

What You Need To Know About Broadcast

  1. In broadcast communication, the packet is delivered to all the host connected to the network.
  2. In broadcast, the relationship between source and destination is one-to-all.
  3. There is no need for group management in broadcasting.
  4. Broadcasting is less secure.
  5. Broadcasting is slower due to huge traffic.
  6. Bandwidth is wasted in broadcasting as the packet is delivered even to hosts which might not be interested in receiving the packet.
  7. Broadcasting creates huge amount of traffic on the network as it delivers each packet to all the host on the network.
  8. A hub or a switch will pass along any broadcast packets they receive to all the other segments in the broadcast domain, but a router will not.

Also Read: Difference Between Connection And Connection-less Services In Telecommunication

Difference Between Multicast And Broadcast In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON MULTICAST BROADCAST
Packets In multicast communication, packet is delivered to the intended recipients only.   In broadcast communication, the packet is delivered to all the host connected to the network.  
Relationship Between Source And Destination The relationship between source and destination is one-to-many.   The relationship between source and destination is one-to-all.  
Group Management Multicasting requires group management as it is necessary to specify the hosts that should receive the packets.   There is no need for group management in broadcasting.  
Security Multicasting is faster due to less traffic.   Broadcasting is less secure.  
Speed Multicasting is faster due to less traffic.   Broadcasting is slower due to huge traffic.  
Bandwidth Utilization Bandwidth is effectively utilized in multicasting as the packet is delivered only to those hosts which are interested in receiving the packet.   Bandwidth is wasted in broadcasting as the packet is delivered even to hosts which might not be interested in receiving the packet.  
Traffic In multitasking traffic is under control as packets are delivered to interested hosts only thereby reducing the traffic on the network.   Broadcasting creates huge amount of traffic on the network as it delivers each packet to all the host on the network.  
Router In multitasking, the router may forward the received packet through several of its interfaces.   A hub or a switch will pass along any broadcast packets they receive to all the other segments in the broadcast domain, but a router will not.