Do standard NICs that support IPv6 have the ability to perform MLD?

Essentially I understand MLD, but am struggling to find if it needs to be configured or if it is enabled by default on a host. Just want to understand how a host sends a Multicast Listener Report. Does it happen automatically when a Multicast Listener query is sent by the router/switch?


First, NICs have no idea if they are used for IPv4, IPv6, IPX, or any other layer-3 protocol.

Ethernet, and other IEEE LAN protocols, support multicast, which is heavily used in IPv6. MLD is something similar to IGMP, and the NICs are ignorant of these upper-layer protocols. NICs only understand the layer-1 communications for which they are manufactured.

Any IEEE 802.3 compliant ethernet NIC will work with IPv6 and MLD (or IPv4 and IGMP, for that matter), and the NIC will be none the wiser.

  • Thanks for clarification. So does MLD need to be configured/turned on any where on the host for it to work? – user_ABCD Jan 11 '17 at 20:34
  • Most OSes that support IPv6 support MLD. MLD is part of ICMPv6, which is part of IPv6. Unfortunately, host configurations are off-topic here. – Ron Maupin Jan 11 '17 at 20:36

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