Looking and Feeling what it Means

IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol):

The Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is an Internet protocol that provides a way for an Internet computer to report its multicast group membership to adjacent routers. Multicasting allows one computer on the Internet to send content to multiple other computers that have identified themselves as interested in receiving the originating computer’s content. Multicasting can be used for such applications as updating the address books of mobile computer users in the field, sending out company newsletters to a distribution list, and “broadcasting” high-bandwidth programs of streaming media to an audience that has “tuned in” by setting up a multicast group membership.

IGMP messages are carried in bare IP packets with IP protocol number 2.  There is no transport layer used with IGMP messaging, similar to the Internet Control Message Protocol.

There are several types of IGMP messages: Membership Queries (general and group-specific), Membership Reports, and Leave Group messages.

Membership Queries are sent by multicast routers to determine which multicast addresses are of interest to systems attached to its network. Routers periodically send General Queries to refresh the group membership state for all systems on its network. Group-Specific Queries are used for determining the reception state for a particular multicast address. Group-and-Source-Specific Queries allow the router to determine if any systems desire reception of messages sent to a multicast group from a source address specified in a list of unicast addresses.


ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol):

ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) is an error-reporting protocol network devices like routers use to generate error messages to the source IP address when network problems prevent delivery of IP packets. ICMP creates and sends messages to the source IP address indicating that a gateway to the Internet that a router, service or host cannot be reached for packet delivery. Any IP network device has the capability to send, receive or process ICMP messages.

ICMP is not a transport protocol that sends data between systems.

While ICMP is not used regularly in end-user applications, it is used by network administrators to troubleshoot Internet connections in diagnostic utilities including ping and trace route.

One of the main protocols of the Internet Protocol suite, ICMP is used by routers, intermediary devices or hosts to communicate error information or updates to other routers, intermediary devices or hosts. The widely used IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) and the newer IPv6 use similar versions of the ICMP protocol (ICMPv4 and ICMPv6, respectively).

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