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Definition: broadcast address

An address that enables transmission to every node in a local network. The address is the highest numeric value of the address format being used. An Ethernet broadcast address is all binary 1's. An IP broadcast address is the highest number in its class; for example, the broadcast address of a Class C network is

Subnet Broadcast Addresses
The broadcast address for a subnet must account for the part of the address that is reserved for the subnet. Using the above Class C example configured for six subnets would have a broadcast address of It is derived as follows. For more on the Class C example, see subnet mask. See broadcast and multicast.

 Class C Mask for Six Subnets

   255      255      255    224

 Step 1
 Invert the mask.

    0        0        0           31

 Step 2
 OR the inverted mask with an IP
 address in the subnet, such as

 192       168        16           1
 192       168        16          31