ARP VS RARP – Difference between ARP and RARP

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,Routing & Switching

ARP VS RARPBefore discussing ARP vs RARP, let us understand the two terms first.

ARP stands for Address resolution protocol and RARP is an abbreviation for Reverse Address Resolution Protocol. Both are LAN protocols and are quite similar in some ways.

Both use Broadcast in Request and unicast in response. Both ARP and RARP have the objective to complete the IP address to MAC address mapping.


Additionally, both utilize the same packet format including usage of broadcast addresses.

Difference between ARP and RARP:

Abbreviation for
Address resolution protocol
Reverse Address Resolution Protocol
Broadcast MAC/IP
Nodes use ARP broadcast in LAN by using broadcast MAC address
RARP uses Broadcast IP address
Maps IP address of node to its MAC Address
Maps 48 bit MAC address to IP address
Used by host or Router to find physical address of another host/Router in LAN.
Used by thin clients with limited facilities
Table maintained by
Local Host maintains ARP table
RARP Server maintains RARP table
Reply information
ARP reply is used to update ARP table
RARP reply is used to configure IP address in local host

Download the difference table here.






To know more about ARP vs RARP watch this video –


Related Blogs –

ARP Timers and Flag Types

Types of ARP




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