Re: broadcast pings

Mike Brescia (brescia@PARK-STREET.BBN.COM)
Fri, 23 Sep 88 09:49:09 -0400

It seems we have started one of those "tastes great!" - "less filling!"*
arguments again.

Should every station reply to a broadcast of some kind?

 NO: it causes massive collisions.
YES: it helps manage the net by finding formerly unknown stations and
     diagnosing problems caused by heavy bursts of traffic

Perhaps you should put a broadcast detector in your copy of ping, so that it
will only send one packet, instead of one per second, as its default. The
main point is that you do not want to have the massive collisions occur while
people are really trying to get work done.

Also, I think that the NO answer works best for connection protocols like TCP,
and that the YES answer may be useful for datagram protocols like ICMP/ECHO or


*Apologies to people who don't see U.S. television ads; this refers to a
series of commercials for a 'lite' malt beverage which allege there are 2
partisan groups which favor it, for different reasons. (I could start a whole
new argument about the benefits/curses of beer ... but that belongs on another
mailing list.)

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