Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Multihoming Mean?

Multihoming is a mechanism used to configure one computer with more than one network interface and multiple IP addresses. It provides enhanced and reliable Internet connectivity without compromising efficient performance. The multihoming computer is known as the host and is directly or indirectly connected to more than one network.


Techopedia Explains Multihoming

Multihoming provides many benefits, including the following:

  • The multiple simultaneous Internet connections make system failure less likely than with a system with a single Internet connection.
  • Users interact with the Internet through multiple doorways. During failover, only one door closes, while the other doors continue working.
  • In Web management, multihoming helps load balancing and allows a network to work with the lowest downtime.
  • The system is maintained during disaster and recovery.

The two main types of multihoming are:

  • IPv4 multihoming: A multihomed public IP address must be configured with two or more Internet service provider (ISP) connections. When any link or route fails, network traffic is automatically rerouted. IPv4’s major drawback is its central connection point (shared transmission line and/or edge router) for two ISPs, which can result in failure of the entire network if the central point fails. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is used for multihoming purposes.
  • IPv6 multihoming: Multihoming is on the rise with IPv6 computer systems, which provide more efficient support for it. Many communication devices are shifting to IPv6, and multihoming allows easy data transfer. However, IPv6 multihoming is not yet standardized.

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.