The router makes the routing decision according to the “routing table” maintained by the router, which is a list of the preferred routes to various networks.
When receiving a packet, the router looks up the packet's destination IP in the routing table, find the best match, then send the packets to the specified interface and gateway IP address.
It not only can reduce the time network administrator spend on configuring the static routes, (especially when the network grows larger), but also allow the router to be responsive to the changes on the network, such as a link fails, or topology changes.
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Network Administrator can add more routing information by static or dynamic routing.
Static routing is the routing information manually added by the network administrator.
A routing table is a set of rules, often viewed in table format, that is used to determine where data packets traveling over an Internet Protocol (IP) network will be directed.
All IP-enabled devices, including routers and switches, use routing tables.
The main difference between policy-based routing and static/ dynamic routing is that policy-based routing allows the router to make routing decisions not only base on the destination IP address, but also criteria such as protocol, source IP address, and destination port.
This primary purpose of policy-based routing no longer is to select the route that is more likely to reach the destination; instead, it is more like setting up a regulation to restrict certain types of traffic to a particular path.
A routing table contains the information necessary to forward a packet along the best path toward its destination.
Each packet contains information about its origin and destination.
It can give the router information about the network which it can reach although not directly connected.