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configuration: host(H1-10.10.10.55/24) has a default gateway(g1) 10.10.10.1/24.

Question 1:H1 sends a packet to 255.255.255.255. What should be the destination MAC address in the outgoing frame?

Should it be the MAC address of the gateway(g1) or FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF?

Question 2:H1 sends a packet to 10.10.10.255. What should be the destination MAC address in the outgoing frame?

Should it be the MAC address of the gateway(g1) or FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF?

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If you're using a broadcast IP, you should be using a broadcast MAC. Use FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF for both cases.

When a device sends a packet to the broadcast MAC address (FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF), it is delivered to all stations on the local network. It needs to be used in order for all devices to receive your packet at the datalink layer.

For IP, 255.255.255.255 is the broadcast address for local networks. On top of Ethernet, this address will make sure that the packet is received by all nodes on your local network.

10.10.10.255 is the broadcast address for the 10.10.10.0/24 subnet. Here again, a broadcast MAC is appropriate.

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Q1: G1, cause the host isn't in the same subnet. Q2: FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF cause the host is in the same network.

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    I believe Q1 is the broadcast address, so it should be FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF in both cases. – Jeff Mar 10 '11 at 6:28
  • when you use FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF in bouth cases in Q1 the package will not get out of the network.when you send a frame for broadcast and no host in the network will response (cause the destination is on other subnet) then what? – neosatan Mar 10 '11 at 6:38
  • @neosatan 255.255.255.255 is the broadcast address for the local network. It's not supposed to make it past a gateway. – Jeff Mar 10 '11 at 6:42
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I know that this is an old thread. But, in case someone finds it. The MAC address should be FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF in both cases. from Wikipedia: " Broadcast is possible also on the underlying Data Link Layer in Ethernet networks. Frames are addressed to reach every computer on a given LAN segment if they are addressed to MAC address FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF. Ethernet frames that contain IP broadcast packages are usually sent to this address. "

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    Though this answer is correct it doesn't seem to add anything compared to the current top answer. – kasperd May 8 '17 at 6:23

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