I am trying to use Wireshark to find the root cause of a particularly slow network, and started by examining Broadcast traffic.

Not only does Broadcast traffic represent over 25% of total traffic (at around 66 packets per second), but also some servers repeatedly query the same host.

This diagram below shows one host repeatedly sending broadcast traffic to query one host.

wireshark capture

Any idea what might cause this?

  • We can clearly see both the hosts are on different networks, your troubleshooting should start from there, you should tell us more details about the network: the subnet masks? vlans? hows the routing done?
    – allwynmasc
    Nov 2 '15 at 9:43
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 9 '17 at 15:25

It seems the destination IP address ( is not answering the ARP requests. The source IP ( is trying to reach that address for some reason and thus is continuing sending ARP requests until it gets an answer or it gives up on reaching the host.

The reason could be that the destination host is offline or unreachable, or that the source host has a wrong subnet mask so that it is sending ARP requests instead of sending the packets to the gateway.

  • The destination IP address might be in a different VLAN; which is very common.
    – Ryan Foley
    Apr 28 '14 at 7:22
  • 1
    Are you seeing the ARP replies for this particular request ? If not there is a connectivity issue somewhere along the link.
    – Jeremy G.
    Apr 28 '14 at 8:41

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