In Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), anycast is communication between a single sender and the nearest of several receivers in a group. The term exists in contradistinction to multicast, communication between a single sender and multiple receivers, and unicast, communication between a single sender and a single receiver in a network.

Anycasting is designed to let one host initiate the efficient updating of router tables for a group of hosts. IPv6 can determine which gateway host is closest and sends the packets to that host as though it were a unicast communication. In turn, that host can anycast to another host in the group until all routing tables are updated.

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This was last updated in August 2006

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