I read that limited broadcast address will be dropped by the router. So, it's not used in the layer-3 (Network layer), where IP addresses are meant to be used. So, where exactly is it used?

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1 Answer 1


Any broadcasts are limited to a layer-2 domain, which is bounded by a layer-3 device (router).

An application designer, needing to send broadcasts on any subnet where the application may be run, could use the Limited Broadcast address as a hard-coded address rather than spending the time to figure out the subnet broadcast address for the subnet on which the application finds itself.

  • So, consider this scenario. There is router R connected to switches A,B,C. Each switch is connected to 5 systems. If a system in switch A sends a limited broadcast, will it be broadcasted only to the systems under switch A, or to all the systems under switches A,B,C? Nov 29, 2015 at 19:17
  • It depends on how many switches are in the same layer-2 domain. A broadcast (Limited Broadcast or subnet broadcast) will not be routed to another subnet, but if the switches are bridged to each other at layer-2, the broadcast will cross the bridge. Multicasts are treated the same way unless multicast routing is enabled on the routers between the layer-2 domains..
    – Ron Maupin
    Nov 29, 2015 at 19:22

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