In networking and telecommunications, routing is the process of selecting a path for traffic in a network, or between or among multiple networks.
Routing is usually performed by a dedicated router device but can also be done by other devices such as switches and firewalls. Routing typically involves deciding which route is best for a given packet of data based on factors such as the destination address, the source address, the type of data, and the current state of the network. The process of routing can be complex, and often involve multiple steps such as finding the best path, calculating the path, and then sending the data along that path.
Routing protocols specify how routers communicate with each other to exchange information about the best path for traffic. The most common routing protocols are the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP), and Open Shortest Path First (OSPF).
BGP is a complex protocol and is often used by large organizations with many different networks. IGP is a protocol used to exchange routing information between different networks within the same organization. IGP is typically simpler than BGP and is used by smaller organizations.
OSPF is a protocol used to calculate the best path for traffic between different networks. OSPF is a complex protocol and is often used by large organizations with many different networks.