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PING to Broadcast Address May Get Response

This article was previously published under Q137421
If the PING command is used to a broadcast address, some devices willrespond.

The following RFC section discusses pinging a broadcast address:

RFC-1122 Section 3.2.2.6 Echo Request/Reply

"An ICMP Echo Request destined to an IP broadcast or IP multicast address MAY be silently discarded.

DISCUSSION:
This neutral provision results from a passionate debate between those who feel that ICMP Echo to a broadcast address provides a valuable diagnostic capability and those who feel that misuse of this feature can too easily create packet storms."

Windows NT 3.5 computers do not reply to these PING Echo Requests. Novell3.12 Servers send an Echo Reply.
prodnt tcp/ip
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Article ID: 137421 - Last Review: 11/01/2006 06:12:22 - Revision: 3.1

  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • KB137421
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