Unicast, Broadcast and Multicast In Computer Networks

Depending on how users are connected to the internet or computer networks the concept of casting type arises. The path of transmission data using any medium or any area network varies user to user.  In this post, we will learn how data passes through the cable or air and in which direction they flow and variation of Unicast, Broadcast, and Multicast.

In computer networking, there are mainly three types of datacasting type can be found. You may find some other several categories, but it will be complex. Types of casting are,

  • Unicast
  • Broadcast
  • Multicast

Let’s learn each type in details…

Types of Casting in Computer Networking
Types of Casting

1. Unicast

If a single device or server send some data stream to a single device or client over the network then it is called Unicast. Unicast is the most simple data transmission protocol in computer networking. In short, this type of data transmission type also called one-to-one transmission.

For example, If the sender has IP address of 120.0.2.34 it will send the data packet to a destination device IP address of 12.14.23.11. The destination device will work as a receiver.

2. Broadcast

The broadcast system has been designed to distribute data to all the users from a single server or device. It is based on the one-to-all data transmission method. Broadcast data transmission system mainly used by television satellite cable networking. The satellite television provider initially receives all the channel signal by using a satellite plate and store them into their local server. Then they send all the channels together using coaxial cable to the end users using broadcasting.

Behind the sense of Broadcast, LDA (Limited Broadcast Address) is used to send some data packet to the destination device using all the 32 bit of IP address sets to 1 method. In the later post, we will learn more about the IP Address

3. Multicast

When a network allows to send and receive data traffic packet among the multiple devices in the same zone of the network then it is called multicast. The Internet is actually based on multicast.

The whole world bounded with this multicast WAN network. You have already learned about WAN in the previous chapter.

Just think about it for a while. By browsing YouTube you can watch videos. It is one kind of downloading data from the YouTube servers. In this case, your browsing device is working as a receiver and the YouTube data center works as a sender.

But let’s do the reverse. If you upload a brand new video to YouTube then your device will work as a sender and YouTube will work as a receiver. So it is clear that the Internet is a multicast data transfer system.

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