Difference between Unicast and Multicast

1. Unicast :
Unicast is a type of information transfer and it is used when there is a participation of single sender and single recipient. So, in short, you can term it as a one-to-one mapping. For example, a device having IP address in a network wants to send the traffic stream (data packets) to the device with IP address in the other network, then unicast comes into the picture. It is the most common form of data transfer over the networks.

2. Multicasting :
Multicasting has one/more senders and one/more recipients participate in data transfer traffic. In multicasting traffic recline between the boundaries of unicast and broadcast. It server’s direct single copies of data streams and that are then simulated and routed to hosts that request it. IP multicast requires support of some other protocols such as Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP), Multicast routing for its working. And also in Classful IP addressing Class D is reserved for multicast groups.

Difference between Unicast and Multicast :

S.No. Unicast Multicast
1. It has one sender and one receiver. It has one or more senders and multiple receivers.
2. It sends data from one device to single device. It sent data from one device to multiple devices.
3. It works on Single Node Topology. It works on star, mesh, tree and hybrid topology.
4. It does not scale well for streaming media. It does not scale well across large networks.
5. Multiple unicasting utilizes more bandwidth as compared. It utilizes bandwidth efficiently.
6. Web surfing, file transfer is an example of a unicast. Switch is an example of a multicast device.
7. It has one-to-one mapping. It has one-to-many mapping.

Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. Get hold of all the important CS Theory concepts for SDE interviews with the CS Theory Course at a student-friendly price and become industry ready.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up

Check out this Author's contributed articles.

If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

Please Improve this article if you find anything incorrect by clicking on the "Improve Article" button below.