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routing
Last modified: January 31, 1997

 related categories
 Networks
related terms
 BGP
 CIDR
 IP address
 IP switching
 MPLS
 OSPF
 packet
 router
 Routing Information Protocol
 routing switch
 virtual router
 VRRP

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In internetworking, the process of moving a packet of data from source to destination. Routing is usually performed by a dedicated device called a router. Routing is a key feature of the Internet because it enables messages to pass from one computer to another and eventually reach the target machine. Each intermediary computer performs routing by passing along the message to the next computer. Part of this process involves analyzing a routing table to determine the best path.

Routing is often confused with bridging, which performs a similar function. The principal difference between the two is that bridging occurs at a lower level and is therefore more of a hardware function whereas routing occurs at a higher level where the software component is more important. And because routing occurs at a higher level, it can perform more complex analysis to determine the optimal path for the packet.

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For internet.com pages about routing, . Also, check out the following links!

Related Links

Connected Encyclopedia's description of routing
Explains what routing is and how it's implemented on the Internet.

Multicast Routing
This page, from Cisco Systems, describes design considerations for multipoint communications. Updated on May 6, 1998

Yahoo!'s routing technology page
Yahoo!'s directory of routing technology. Updated on Aug 2, 1998

Yahoo!'s routing technology protocols page
Yahoo!'s directory of routing technology protocols. Updated on Aug 4, 1998


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