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The client knows the IP address from the destination path which you have to enter to establish the connection.

Example: you want to send a file from PC1 ( to PC2 ( by using Windows Explorer. You enter the path into the address field (e.g. \PC2\Share) and hit enter. PC1 will now ask his DNS resolver for the IP address of PC2. Your DNS server will answer the request with "PC2 has the IP address". Due to his subnet mask PC1 knows that this address is in his subnet, and therefore he will send an ARP request "Hey, who has the IP address Please tell me (" to the mac broadcast address ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff. Every client in the subnet will receive this request, but only PC2 will (should) answer "Here! It's me! I'm reachable at 11:22:33:44:55:66".