What Does Broadcasting Mean?

Broadcasting is the simultaneous transmission of the same message to multiple recipients. In networking, broadcasting occurs when a transmitted data packet is received by all network devices.


Security issues may arise during broadcasting and lead to data loss if a network is attacked by intruders. In non-networking or electronic broadcasting, the term broadcasting denotes the transfer of audio and video data between nodes and devices.

Techopedia Explains Broadcasting

Broadcasting may occur in either of the following ways:

  • A high-level program operation, such as broadcasting the Message Passing Interface (MPI)
  • A low-level networking operation, such as broadcasting via Ethernet.

Broadcasting is basically limited to local area network (LAN) systems. In a LAN, however, its performance impact is more substantial in a wide area network (WAN).

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) uses multicasting, rather than broadcasting, to avoid network interruption when services are required by only one or two nodes. During data transmission, IPv6 transmits data directly to devices and does not disturb network device traffic.


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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…