Forwarding in MLD snooping

When MLD snooping is active, a multicast packet is handled by the switch as shown in the following list.

The packet is:
  • Forwarded to ports that have nodes that have joined the packet's multicast address (that is, MLD hosts on that address packet)

  • Forwarded toward the querier-If the switch is not the querier, the packet is forwarded out the port that leads to the querier.

  • Forwarded toward any multicast routers-If there are multicast routers on the VLAN, the packet is forwarded out any port that leads to a router.

  • Forwarded to administratively forwarded ports-The packet is forwarded through all ports set administratively to forward mode. (See the description of forward modes, below.)

  • Dropped for all other ports.

Each individual port's forwarding behavior can be explicitly set using a CLI command to one of these modes:
Auto (the default mode)

The switch forwards packets through this port based on the MLD rules and the packet's multicast address. In most cases, this means that the switch forwards the packet only if the port connects to a node that is joined to the packet's multicast address (that is, to an MLD host). There is seldom any reason to use a mode other than "auto" in normal operation (though some diagnostics may use "forward" or "block" mode).


The switch forwards all IPv6 multicast packets through the port. This includes IPv6 multicast data and MLD protocol packets.


The switch drops all MLD packets received by the port and blocks all outgoing IPv6 multicast packets through the port, except those packets destined for well-known IPv6 multicast addresses. This prevents IPv6 multicast traffic from moving through the port.

The switch floods all packets with "well-known" IPv6 multicast destination addresses through all ports. Well-known addresses are permanent addresses defined by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IPv6 standards define any address beginning with FF0x/12 (binary 1111 1111 0000) as a well-known address.