ICMP vs IGMP: Detailed Comparison

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,Protocol,Routing & Switching

ICMP and IGMP are some of most commonly discussed terms in network industry. ICMP is abbreviation for Internet Control Management Protocol and IGMP is abbreviation for Internet Group Management Protocol.

Both ICMP and IGMP serve as network protocols within the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model. While ICMP uses unicast Routing for error detection and notification messages, IGMP is used by hosts to join and leave Multicast groups.

In this article we will understand the difference between ICMP and IGMP, i.e. ICMP vs IGMP in detail.


What is ICMP?

ICMP is the network layer protocol of the OSI model. In case of a network error, it detects and documents the errors and notifies about the malfunctions. The 2 types of messages in ICMP are:

Error Message − such messages are generated when hosts encounter communication errors. These messages can include notifications such as

  • the destination being unreachable from the source,
  • exceeding the expected time limit,
  • redirecting routes, or
  • requesting the sender to transmit data at a lower rate.

Query Message − is a message that is sent to gather information of the host. Several query messages serve various purposes, such as

  • calculating the duration between sending and receiving data and
  • verifying the availability of a connection.

What is IGMP?

IGMP (Abbreviation for  Internet Group Management Protocol) is used by the TCP/IP protocol suite to achieve dynamic multicasting. It allows a host to advertise its multicast group membership to neighbouring switches and routers. Hosts identify group memberships by sending IGMP messages to their local multicast router. Under IGMP, routers listen to IGMP messages and periodically send out queries to discover which groups are active or inactive on a particular subnet.

Comparison: ICMP vs IGMP

Below table gives details on the difference between both ICMP and IGMP protocols –
ICMP vs IGMP comparison table

Download the comparison table: ICMP vs IGMP

Continue Reading:

What are OSI Protocols? 7 Network Layer Protocols Explained

Understanding ICMP Redirects


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