What Does Flooding Mean?

Flooding is a simple routing technique in computer networks where a source or node sends packets through every outgoing link.


Flooding, which is similar to broadcasting, occurs when source packets (without routing data) are transmitted to all attached network nodes. Because flooding uses every path in the network, the shortest path is also used. The flooding algorithm is easy to implement.

Techopedia Explains Flooding

Network routing data is not initially included in data packets. A hop count algorithm is used to track network topology, or visited network routes. A packet tries to access all available network routes and ultimately reaches its destination, but there is always the potential for packet duplication. Hop count and some selective flooding techniques are used to avoid communication delay and duplication.

Flooding is also used as a denial of service attack by flooding network traffic to bring down a network service. The service is flooded with many incomplete server connection requests. Due to the number of flooded requests, the server or host is not able to process genuine requests at the same time. A flooding attack fills the server or host memory buffer; once it is full, further connections cannot be made, which results in denial of service.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…