Home > Articles

Networking Devices

This chapter is from the book


Routers are used to create larger networks by joining two network segments. A router can be a dedicated hardware device or a computer system with more than one network interface and the appropriate routing software. All modern network operating systems include the functionality to act as a router.

A router derives its name from the fact that it can route data it receives from one network onto another. When a router receives a packet of data, it reads the header of the packet to determine the destination address. Once it has determined the address, it looks in its routing table to determine whether it knows how to reach the destination and, if it does, it forwards the packet to the next hop on the route. The next hop may be the final destination or it may be another router. Figure 3.5 shows, in basic terms, how a router works.

As you can see from this example, routing tables play a very important role in the routing process. They are the means by which the router makes its decisions. For this reason, a routing table needs to be two things. It must be up to date, and it must be complete. There are two ways that the router can get the information for the routing table—through static routing or dynamic routing.

Figure 3.5 How a router works.

Static routing

In environments that use static routing, routes and route information are entered into the routing tables manually. Not only can this be a time-consuming task, but errors are more common. Additionally, when there is a change in the layout, or topology, of the network, statically configured routers must be manually updated with the changes. Again, this is a time-consuming and potentially error-laden task. For these reasons, static routing is suited to only the smallest environments with perhaps just one or two routers. A far more practical solution, particularly in larger environments, is to use dynamic routing.

Dynamic routing

In a dynamic routing environment, routers use special routing protocols to communicate. The purpose of these protocols is simple; they allow routers to pass on information about themselves to other routers so that other routers can build routing tables. There are two types of routing protocols used—the older distance vector protocols and the newer link state protocols.

Distance vector routing

The two most commonly used distance vector routing protocols are both called Routing Information Protocol (RIP). One version is used on networks running TCP/IP, the other, sometimes referred to as IPX RIP, is designed for use on networks running the IPX/SPX protocol.

RIP works on the basis of hop counts. A hop is defined as one step on the journey to the data's destination. Each router that the data has to cross to reach its destination constitutes a hop. The maximum number of hops that RIP can accommodate is 15. That is to say that in a network that uses RIP, all routers must be within 15 hops of each other to communicate. Any hop count that is in excess of 15 is considered unreachable.

Distance vector routing protocols operate by having each router send updates about all the other routers it knows about to the routers directly connected to it. These updates are used by the routers to compile their routing tables. The updates are sent out automatically every 30 or 60 seconds. The actual interval depends on the routing protocol being used. Apart from the periodic updates, routers can also be configured to send a triggered update if a change in the network topology is detected. The process by which routers learn of a change in the network topology is known as convergence.

Although distance vector protocols are able to maintain routing tables, they have three problems. The first is that the periodic update system can make the update process very slow. The second problem is that the periodic updates can create large amounts of network traffic, much of the time unnecessarily as the topology of the network should rarely change. The last, and perhaps more significant problem, is that because the routers only know about the next hop in the journey, incorrect information can be propagated between routers creating routing loops.

Two strategies are used to combat this last problem. One, split horizon, works by preventing the router from advertising a route back to the other router from which it was learned. The other, poison reverse (also called split horizon with poison reverse), dictates that the route is advertised back on the interface from which it was learned, but that it has a metric of 16. Recall that a metric of 16 is considered an unreachable destination.

Link state routing

Link state routing works quite differently from distance vector-based routing. Rather than each router telling each other connected router about the routes it is aware of, routers in a link state environment send out special packets, called link state advertisements (LSA), which contain information only about that router. These LSAs are forwarded to all of the routers on the network, which enables them to build a map of the entire network. The advertisements are sent when the router is first brought onto the network and when a change in the topology is detected.

Of the two (distance vector and link state), distance vector routing is better suited to small networks and link state routing to larger ones. Link state protocols do not suffer from the constant updates and limited hop count, and they are also quicker to correct themselves (to converge) when the network topology changes.

On TCP/IP networks, the most commonly used link state routing protocol is the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF). On IPX networks, the NetWare Link State Protocol (NLSP) is used. Table 3.1 summarizes the distance vector and link state protocols used with each network protocol.


It is necessary to know which distance vector and link state routing protocols are associated with which network protocols.

Table 3.1 Routing Protocols

Network Protocol

Distance Vector

Link State








Sometimes, to distinguish between the versions of RIP for IP and IPX, the version for IPX is referred to as IPX RIP.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020