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.

Content Continues Below
This was last updated in April 2006

Continue Reading About multicast

Dig Deeper on Network protocols and standards

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Thanks you really helped me lot.. :)
What is difference between broadcast and multicast?
broadcast is from one sender to every host in a network whilst multicast is from one sender to specific multiple host on a network e.g only those host with a nic (network interface card) that has requested to receive the packet or data. you can use whatsapp as an analogy in that when you use broadcast every contact on your phone will receive the message(broadcast) but when you create a group only those contacts that accepted to the part of the group will receive the message and not every contact in your phone(multicast)

hope it helps .....