Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » M »


Short for Multicast Backbone on the Internet, MBone is an extension to the Internet to support IP multicasting -- two-way transmission of data between multiple sites. The TCP/IP protocol used by the Internet divides messages into packets and sends each packet independently. Packets can travel different routes to their destination, which means that they can arrive in any order and with sizable delays between the first and last packets. In addition, each recipient of the data requires that separate packets be sent from the source to the destination. This works fine for static information, such as text and graphics, but it doesn't work well for real-time audio and video.

With Mbone, a single packet can have multiple destinations and isn't split up until the last possible moment. This means that it can pass through several routers before it needs to be divided to reach its final destinations. This leads to much more efficient transmission and also ensures that packets reach multiple destinations at roughly the same time.

The MBone is an experiment to upgrade the Internet to handle live multimedia messages. MBone servers have special Class D IP addresses. As of March 1997, there were more than 3,000 MBone servers on the Internet.

The Mbone was developed by Steve Deering at Xerox PARC and adopted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in March 1992.

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Sharing Threat Intelligence

A growing number of startups make the sharing of threat intelligence a key part of their solutions. Read More »

Smiley Faces and Symbols

A text smiley face is used to convey a facial expression or emotion in texting and online chat conversations. This Webopedia guide shows you how... Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »