VIII Routing Protocols
As we learned in the chapter on Physical Devices, on all but the very smallest LANs that use IP (and other routable protocols like IPX), a router is used to carry non-local network traffic between networks.
Routers use specialized protocols to determine where to send data that is addressed to a host on a non-local network. Protocols such as RIP (Routing Information Protocol) or OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) are used to figure out how to best get the data to its destination, or at least closer to its destination.
When a network workstation sends data to a computer on another network, the workstation compares the destination computers address with its own address. If both addresses are located on the same LAN, the data is sent directly to the destination computer. If the destination address is on a different LAN, the data must be routed to the proper network on which the destination computer is located.
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