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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
An internetwork is a collection of networks joined by routers. Paths through the network must be found and made available to the router so it knows the best path on which to forward a packet to its destination. Static routing is the process a network administrator does to manually configure network routes. The alternative is dynamic routing. If the internetwork is small, static routing may be the best approach; but if it is large, dynamic routing is preferred. Note that in a dynamic routing environment, some paths may be manually configured to control the routing environment.
Dynamic routing requires routing algorithms. Dynamic routing protocols assist in the automatic creation of routing tables. Network topologies are subject to change at any time. A link may fail unexpectedly, or a new link may be added. A dynamic routing protocol must discover these changes, automatically adjust its routing tables, and inform other routers of the changes.
Most routers support both static and dynamic routing.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.