Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Introduction to Multicast IP Addresses


One of the differences between unicast and multicast IP addresses, is that unicast IP addresses represent a single network device while multicast IP addresses represent a group of receivers. IANA has reserved the class D range to use for multicast, which means that we have the 224.0.0.0 through 239.255.255.255 range for IP multicast addresses.


Some of the addresses are reserved and we can’t use them for our own applications.


The 224.0.0.0 – 224.0.0.255 range has been reserved by IANA to use for network protocols. All multicast IP packets in this range are not forwarded by routers between subnets. Let me give you an overview of reserved link-local multicast addresses, I’m sure you recognize some of the protocols


IANA also reserved the 224.0.1.0 /24 range for certain applications. However everything in the 224.0.1.0 /24 range can be routed unlike the 224.0.0.0 /24 range. Here’s an overview



Just make sure you don’t use the 224.0.0.0 /24 and 224.0.1.0 /24 range and you will be safe. Just like private and public IP addresses for unicast, IANA has reserved a range of IP addresses that we can use for multicast on our local networks. This is the 239.0.0.0 /8 range. Everything between 239.0.0.0 – 239.255.255.255 is safe to use on your own networks.


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