These days, more than network unicast methods are needed to satisfy the data dispatch requirements since it increases your network’s burden and unnecessarily uses up a large section of available bandwidth. On or off of IGMP, Snooping is the key to resolving this issue. So what exactly is it? Why should you enable IGMP Snooping on or off? 

An advanced option on your routers lets multiple devices use a single IP address to acquire the same data. It helps curb bandwidth wastage and improves the security of your network information.

This guide will talk about the fundamental functions and benefits of IGMP snooping. And also help you understand its working process.

What Is IGMP Snooping?

Internet Group Management Protocol (IMGP) is a crucial part of network multicast employed to set up and supervise the community of hosts and routing gadgets in a multicast cluster. It curbs the surge of multicast traffic on virtual LANs. 

what is igmp snooping

An abundance of multicast traffic in your network affects the efficiency of the whole network due to an undue surge of data. 

When you enable IGMP snooping on or off, the router scans traffic on the network. It uses the information to relay multicast traffic to only the receivers who need it. Doing so optimizes and subdues the unneeded flow of wireless multicast data to every downstream interface in the virtual LAN.

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Why Enable IGMP Snooping On or Off, And How It Works?

In a Local network, multicast packages must move across Layer 2 switches connecting the router and multicast clients. However, in some cases, the controls fail to learn the multicast MAC address. Consequently, when the device obtains traffic for a multicast address, it overflows the traffic on the broadcast domain, transmitting a substantial portion of traffic that may not even have interested receivers. It leads to the sheer wastage of network bandwidth and compromises network security for the entire domain.

igmp snooping works

IGMP snooping resolves this issue. When you enable it on or off a network device, the snooping switch finds the interfaces by analyzing its message. The controller creates a multicast forwarding table to maintain relay entries to contain multicast data relays. When it obtains membership information for a multicast group, it includes them in its transmission table. Thus, it only delivers multicast packages to multicast group members rather than transmitting to all hosts.

There are two types of interfaces:

  • Multicast Router Interfaces – these ports are assigned to the multicast routers

multicast igmp

  • Group Member Interfaces – these are meant for the hosts counted as multicast group members.

group members interface

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IGMP snooping multicast enables a device to develop and maintain a multicast transmission table for multicast data transmission on request.


However, before you initialize snooping configuration, you should know about its different elements:


To enable IGMP Snooping, you must deploy a multicast router in the network frame to induce its queries. Without a querier, the switch cannot receive IGMP membership reports and maintain the membership tables. As a result, snooping cannot work correctly.


Configuring an IGMP Snooping querier regularly transmits IGMP queries to reports from the network switch with multicast memberships. And attends to these reports to confirm suitable multicast transmission.

Proxy Function 

It is an advanced function. When you enable the IGMP snooping switch, it begins working as usual. As the controller receives an IGMP query from a router, it instantly retorts with a report as per its status.

igmp proxyIf you turn off IGMP queries in the network, an overflow of reports from hosts occurs. IGMP Snooping proxy helps with this and deters an explosion in its report traffic about questions. It reduces the number of words the IGMP querier requires to process. 

IGMP Snooping Version

There are three protocol versions for IGMP, namely, V1, V2, and V3. You can pick any IGMP snooping version to act on messages in various versions on a Layer 2 gadget.

igmpsnooping versionTypically, IGMPv1 recognizes the querier router based on the multicast routing protocol. IGMPv2 allows the querier to transmit messages to the host members of a multicast group due to its ability to carry on group queries. IGMPv3 is more suitable for supporting distinct source filtering.

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Benefits And Applications

There are two significant advantages:

Bandwidth wastage control – IGMP Snooping helps network switches and routers skillfully transfer multicast data packages to the specified receivers. It reduces the burden on the network by controlling the overflow of data packets. It allows the devices to forward multicast packages only to the hosts interested in them rather than choking every port on the virtual LAN.


Its importance becomes more apparent without a filter for multipoint transfer as the multicast packages get transmitted to every host in the broadcast field. It works best for more extensive networks as the switch lowers needlessly high traffic. It is resulting in network choking.

Security Enhancement – IGMP snooping diminishes the chances of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks from suspicious sources by putting up unfamiliar MAC addresses. Criminals can benefit from this data overflow. Please forward it to specific hosts or the whole network to make them collapse.

igmp data security

When you enable IGMP snooping, it controls these kinds of hostile attacks.

When To Enable IGMP Snooping On or Off For Home Use?

If you regularly stream on Apple TV or Chromecast using streaming or mirroring from gadgets, you should enable IGMP snooping for your home network. However, if you have minimal multicast traffic and rely on your network for essential internet use, keep it disabled.


It is practical when you require larger bandwidth and will only help improve your wifi performance if multicast traffic is on your network. Wastage of your router’s power occurs since it will keep monitoring the multicast transmission on your wifi setup that does not even exist.


Can I turn off IGMP?

If you regularly stream to Apple TV or Chromecast, you should enable the IGMP Snooping to avoid unnecessary network traffic, which will improve the efficiency of your router.

Should I enable IGMP snooping?

If you have minimal multicast traffic and rely on your network for basic internet use, then you should keep it disabled.

What does IGMP snooping do?

It is a technique that network switches used to set up and supervise the community of hosts and routing gadgets in a multicast cluster. It enables switches to relay multicast packages to specific devices on request. You can check the IGMP snooping status and turn it on to improve the efficiency of your router.

What is IGMP in router settings?

IGMP is a protocol that lets multiple devices use a single IP address to acquire the same data. IGMP is employed to institute multicasting on networks that use IPv4.


We greatly hope this article on “Enable IGMP snooping on or off” has helped you understand the basics of IGMP snooping. It is a valuable feature that controls bandwidth consumption in a multi-host setting to avoid data overflow in the virtual LAN. It is also advantageous in increasing the security of network information. Therefore, knowing the functions and basics will significantly help you improve network optimization.

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