IPv4 Broadcast Address

A Broadcast Address is an special values in the host-identification part of an IP address.

It is used to sending data multiple recipients at the same time, for example to allow one device to comunicate with all other devices on the network at once.

The device sends its messages to the broadcast address, and the network hardware propagates it to every other device in the group (the broadcast domain).


The broadcast address for an IPv4 host is calculated through bitwise OR using the subnet mask and the host IP address.

Example: For broadcasting a packet to an entire IPv4 subnet using the private IP address space, which has the subnet mask, the broadcast address is | =

The IP broadcast address is limited to use for the local (zero / network. Traffic to this address is not forwarded to other networks.