Routing Table

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Routing Table Mean?

A routing table is a type of data file that acts as a map and is often installed on a router, networked computer or other hardware. The routing table contains information about various routes between devices in order to present the most efficient paths for data packets.

Advertisements

Techopedia Explains Routing Table

A routing table uses static and dynamic Internet protocol or IP addresses to identify devices, and works with an ARP cache that holds these addresses. The routing table is commonly referred to as a resource for finding the next hop, or subsequent route for a data packet. Static or dynamic routes may be compared in order to find the best path for data.

Part of the challenge of designing a routing table is in recording information on many devices with a fixed memory or storage space. There’s also the issue of working with an ARP cache and correctly maintaining lists of available routes for data. This is often referred to as incorrect definition of the topology of a network. Other routing problems, such as black holes, which cause ineffective delivery, should also be considered when using a routing table.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.