The main difference between broadcast and multicast is that, in broadcasting, the message or packets go to all the connected devices on the network while, in multicasting, the packets go to a required set of devices on the network.
Transmission is the process of sending data from the source device to the destination device. In a network, the data converts into packets to travel to the destination. There are various types of transmission, and broadcast and multicast are two of them. In brief, multicasting is more efficient and require less bandwidth compared to broadcasting.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Broadcast
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Multicast
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Broadcast and Multicast
– Comparison of Key Differences
Bandwidth, Broadcast, Multicast
What is Broadcast
Broadcast or broadcasting refers to transmitting the same message or packets to multiple devices at the same time. Therefore, all the connected devices receive that message or packets. Thus, this method is also called “all-to-all”. In a Local Area Network (LAN), it is possible to configure a device to broadcast messages to other devices on the network.
When a device request to broadcast, it sends a packet to the network’s broadcast address. Then a device such as a router or a switch transmits that packet to other devices in the network. All the devices that can receive these packets belong to a broadcast domain. However, one major drawback in broadcasting is that it can cause security issues and generate data loss.
What is Multicast
Multicast or multicasting refers to transmitting the message or packets to a group of devices in the network simultaneously. Multicasting is secure as only some users receive the packets. As this method divides a single transmission between multiple users, it minimizes the required bandwidth. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is the most common protocol in multicasting.
There are various multicasting based applications. A user can send an email to some of the recipients rather than sending emails to all the recipients in the contact list. Webcasts and video conferencing also use multicasting. Furthermore, devices such as routers and switches send packets to a group of devices in the network with the help of multicasting.
Difference Between Broadcast and Multicast
Broadcast or broadcasting is a method of transferring a message to all recipients simultaneously while multicast is a group communication where data transmission is addressed to a group of destination computers simultaneously. Thus, this is the fundamental difference between broadcast and multicast.
Furthermore, the functionality is the main difference between broadcast and multicast. In broadcasting, the packets are transmitted to all the connected devices in the network. However, in multicasting, the packets are transmitted to some of the devices in the network.
Moreover, there is no need for group management in broadcasting. On the other hand, multicasting requires group management as it is necessary to specify the hosts that should receive the packets. Hence, this is another difference between broadcast and multicast.
One other difference between broadcast and multicast is that multicasting is more secure than broadcasting.
Also, there is more traffic in broadcasting than in multicasting.
Besides, the speed is also a major difference between broadcast and multicast. Broadcasting is slower while multicasting is faster.
Broadcast and multicast are two types of transmission. The main difference between broadcast and multicast is that, in broadcast, the message or packets go to all the connected devices on the network while in multicast, the packets go to a required set of devices on the network.
1. “What Is Broadcasting? – Definition from Techopedia.” Techopedia.com, Available here.
2. “What Is a Broadcast?” Computer Hope, 8 Aug. 2017, Available here.
3. “What Is Multicast? – Definition from Techopedia.” Techopedia.com, Available here.
4. “Multicasting.” P2P (Peer To Peer) Definition, Available here.