EIGRP will use six different packet types when communicating with its neighboring EIGRP routeres
Hello Packets – EIGRP sends Hello packets once it has been enabled on a router for a particular network. These messages are used to identify neighbors and once identified, serve or function as a keepalive mechanism between neighboring devices. EIGRP Hello packets are sent to the link local Multicast group address 126.96.36.199. Hello packets sent by EIGRP do not require an Acknowledgment to be sent confirming that they were received. Because they require no explicit acknowledgment, Hello packets are classified as unreliable EIGRP packets. EIGRP Hello packets have an OPCode of 5.
Acknowledgement Packets – An EIGRP Acknowledgment (ACK) packet is simply an EIGRP Hello packet that contains no data. Acknowledgement packets are used by EIGRP to confirm reliable delivery of EIGRP packets. ACKs are always sent to a Unicast address, which is the source address of the sender of the reliable packet, and not to the EIGRP Multicast group address. In addition, Acknowledgement packets will always contain a non-zero acknowledgment number. The ACK uses the same OPCode as the Hello Packet because it is essentially just a Hello that contains no information. The OPCode is 5.
Update Packets – EIGRP Update packets are used to convey reachability of destinations. Update packets contain EIGRP routing updates. When a new neighbor is discovered, Update packets are sent via Unicast to the neighbor which the can build up its EIGRP Topology Table. It is important to know that Update packets are always transmitted reliably and always require explicit acknowledgement. Update packets are assigned an OPCode of 1.
Query Packet – EIGRP Query packets are Multicast and are used to reliably request routing information. EIGRP Query packets are sent to neighbors when a route is not available and the router needs to ask about the status of the route for fast convergence. If the router that sends out a Query does not receive a response from any of its neighbors, it resends the Query as a Unicast packet to the non-responsive neighbor(s). If no response is received in 16 attempts, the EIGRP neighbor relationship is reset. EIGRP Query packets are assigned an OPCode of 3.
Reply Packets – EIGRP Reply packets are sent in response to Query packets. The Reply packets are used to reliably respond to a Query packet. Reply packets are Unicast to the originator of the Query. The EIGRP Reply packets are assigned an OPCode of 4.
Request Packets – Request packets are used to get specific information from one or more neighbors and are used in route server applications. These packet types can be sent either via Multicast or Unicast, but are always transmitted unreliably.