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Difference between Unicast and Multicast

  • Last Updated : 29 Oct, 2020

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.

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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 :

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.

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