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Address resolution process

What type of broadcasting facility does an Ethernet network have to find missing information (due to host or destination address is not known when sending datagrams over the Internet)? How does this facility work? Thanks for your help.

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You're correct! When IP builds a datagram, the target hardware address (MAC) is unknown. The Address Resolution Process (ARP) is used to find this information and resolve it to a known IP. It is a two-step process, (1) ARP request, and (2) ARP reply. The result of the ARP response is stored in the ARP cache for a short period of time. The time varies from vendor to vendor. Microsoft usually sets this time for 120 seconds (2 minutes). See for yourself by typing "arp ?a" at the command prompt. Here's a good explanation of the process if you'd like to learn more.

This was first published in November 2002

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