What is Multicast Backbone (MBone)?
The multicast backbone (MBone) is used to multicast network traffic over an IP network. MBone is primarily designed for multicasting audio and video signals over the Internet. It required special hardware and software.
In 1990, MBone was used as an experiment for network multicasting traffic. Its main uses include streaming audio and video for television channels and video conferencing. In 1994, MBone was initially used as a multicast backbone for the transmission of a music concert. In 1995 Russia used an MBone multicast connection in a solid research laboratory.
Unicasting allows a broadcast to be sent to a single user (for example, when a user downloads a file from a server and the download is sent to that user only), while multicasting enables a broadcast to be sent to multiple users at the same time.
MBone was initially used as an experiment. Just as the IP network infrastructure supports both unicast and multicast networks, MBone is used to connect IP networks that support multicasting. MBone is not popular in commercial use because it is not widely used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).