multicast definition

Multicast is communication between a single sender and multiple receivers on a network. Typical uses include the updating of mobile personnel from a home office and the periodic issuance of online newsletters. Together with anycast and unicast, multicast is one of the packet types in the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).

Multicast is supported through wireless data networks as part of the Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) technology.

Multicast is also used for programming on the MBone, a system that allows users at high-bandwidth points on the Internet to receive live video and sound programming. In addition to using a specific high-bandwidth subset of the Internet, Mbone multicast also uses a protocol that allows signals to be encapsulated as TCP/IP packet when passing through parts of the Internet that can not handle the multicast protocol directly.

This was first published in April 2006

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