Routing Protocol refers to a formula used by a router to find the most suitable path to transmit data. It also shows how routers in a network share data between each other and report any changes that take place. The routing protocol allows a network to make changes in a dynamic manner based on the conditions available. Therefore, routing decisions do not have to be determined beforehand. Each router knows only the networks that are directly connected. A routing protocol shares info first with direct neighbors, and then the rest of the network. In this way, routers have knowledge of network topology and layout.
After going through the definition, now it is time to discover in depth RIP and IGRP routing protocols:
Routing Information Protocol (RIP):
RIP is a dynamic protocol used to determine the best path from source to destination over a network by using an algorithm to count the number of metrics/hops. This algorithm allows the data to reach the destination quickly and in the shortest time possible. The hop is the step forward to the next device, it can be a router, computer or any connected device. Once the length of the hop is known, the information is kept in a table called routing table to be used later. RIP is used in local and wide area networks, and considered easy to configure and implement.
Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP):
IGRP is a distance-vector routing protocol whereby each router sends the whole or some part of its routing table in a form of update and on a regular basis to the neighboring routers. In this way, the router will be able to choose the best route between source and destination. Since each route can have several links, the system needs an approach to perform comparison between links in order to find the most suitable route. When comparing IGRP with RIP, RIP uses only one criteria, this criteria determines the number of hops in order to find the best path. On the other hand, IGRP uses five criteria to calculate the best route: link’s speed, delay, packet size, loading and reliability. Network administrators have the ability to set the weighting factors for each of these metrics.
In this article, we only talked about RIP and IGRP, the remaining routing protocols will be covered in separate articles and they are as follows:
- Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
- Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP)
- Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)
- Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
- Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS).
Want to know which protocol suits your network topology? Contact our network specialists here and they will be glad to assist you.