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Practical Packet Analysis, 2nd Edition by Chris Sanders

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Traffic Classifications

Network traffic can be divided among three main classes: broadcast, multicast, and unicast. Each classification has a distinct characteristic that determines how packets in that class are handled by networking hardware.

Broadcast Traffic

A broadcast packet is one that is sent to all ports on a network segment, regardless of whether that port is a hub or switch.

All broadcast traffic is not created equally, however. There are layer 2 and layer 3 forms of broadcast traffic. For instance, on layer 2, the MAC address FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF is the reserved broadcast address, and any traffic sent to this address is broadcast to the entire network segment. Layer 3 also has a specific broadcast address.

The highest possible IP address in ...

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