Definition - What does Unicast mean?

Unicast is a common network model where packets are sent to a single network destination with a particular address.

Techopedia explains Unicast

In its role as a basic network configuration, unicast competes with other methodologies such as anycast, broadcast, and multicast.

Among these, unicast is uniquely straightforward in that there is a single destination. In other models, messages may be sent to multiple destinations through more complex routing transmission models.

The basic notion of unicast is that there is a specific channel created for the user. This is helpful when content transmission is based on a 'single-tenant’ model, for example, when a content or service provider needs to send personalized and accurate information to individual users.

In other situations, where the same information can be sent to a larger audience, multicast or broadcast systems can be more efficient. For example, in a service where an individual is supposed to get on-demand video messaging, unicast would be the preferred method.

Where there is a need for collaborative viewing, multicast or broadcast may be a better approach.

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