EIGRP uses 5 packet types in communication with its neighbours. The packet types are detailed below –

  • Hello — EIGRP uses hello packets in the discovery of neighbors. They are multicast to By default, EIGRP sends hello packets every 5 seconds (60 seconds on WAN links with 1.544 Mbps speeds or less).
  • Acknowledgment — An acknowledgment packet acknowledges the reception of an update packet. It is a hello packet with no data. EIGRP sends acknowledgment packets to the unicast address of the sender of the update packet.

    Related – EIGRP Stub

  • Update — Update packets contain routing information for destinations. EIGRP unicasts update packets to newly discovered neighbors; otherwise, it multicasts update packets to when a link or metric changes. Update packets are acknowledged to ensure reliable transmission.
  • Query — EIGRP sends query packets to find feasible successors to a destination. Query packets are always multicast.
  • Reply — EIGRP sends reply packets to respond to query packets. Reply packets provide a feasible successor to the sender of the query. Reply packets are unicast to the sender of the query packet.


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