Traffic Types

Routing protocols use different  traffic types to control how routing information are exchanged.

Unicast: traffic is exchanged between one sender and one receiver, communication between two points.

Multicast: traffic is exchanged between one sender and group of receivers. IPv4 reserved address space is 224.0.0.0 – 239.255.255.255. IPv6 reserved multicast addresses have the prefix FF00:/8

Broadcast: one receiver send traffic to all devices in the subnet. Local subnet address is 255.255.255.255. IPv6 does not have broadcast traffic type.

Anycast: traffic is exchanged between one sender and nearest receiver from a group.

Early routing protocols used only broadcast traffic, but modern use multicast addresses.

Example IPv4:

  • 224.0.0.5 – Used by OSPFv2: All OSPF routers
  • 224.0.0.6 – Used by OSPFv2: All Designated routers
  • 224.0.0.9 – Used by RIPv2
  • 224.0.0.10 – Used by EIGRP

Example IPv6:

  • FF02::5 – Used by OSPFv3: All OSPF Routers
  • FF02::6 – Used by OSPFv3: All Designated Routers
  • FF02::9 – Used by RIPng
  • FF02::A – Used by EIGRP for IPv6
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