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TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols by W. Richard Stevens

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Chapter 12. Broadcasting and Multicasting

Introduction

We mentioned in Chapter 1 that there are three kinds of IP addresses: unicast, broadcast, and multicast. In this chapter we discuss broadcasting and multicasting in more detail.

Broadcasting and multicasting only apply to UDP, where it makes sense for an application to send a single message to multiple recipients. TCP is a connection-oriented protocol that implies a connection between two hosts (specified by IP addresses) and one process on each host (specified by port numbers).

Consider a set of hosts on a shared network such as an Ethernet. Each Ethernet frame contains the source and destination Ethernet addresses (48-bit values). Normally each Ethernet frame is destined for a single host. ...

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