Windows Routing

What Does Windows Routing Mean?

Windows routing refers to moving a packet of data from a source to its destination through a Microsoft Windows platform. It is similar to typical network routing but is limited to the Windows platform. Windows routing allows a user to create and manage routing tables and entries in routing tables using the Windows command prompt and other specified Windows wizards.


When accessing a computer from another LAN, users must use Windows routing to add the network and host IP being accessed. All versions of Microsoft Windows provide Windows routing.

Techopedia Explains Windows Routing

Computer networks are designed for data sharing and utilization of system resources, including hardware such as printers, scanners, faxes and modems. To manage computer networks, different techniques are used, including Windows routing. Single- and multi-homed hosts use this technique for routing IPs over networks.

A single-homed TCP/IP host always makes the decision about data routing using a routing table. Users can view the routing table by typing a route print command in the command prompt.

A Windows routing table may include the following entries:

  • Network Address: The destination address has four parts: host address, subnet mask, network address and default gateway.
  • Netmask: Netmask is the most important entry in a routing table. It is used to decide the portion of the network address that matches the route to be accessed.
  • Gateway Address: This is the address of the router or local network card. It is used as the exit and entrance point to the network or PC.
  • Interface: This network card’s address, which is used as a destination. Other devices over a network use the interface to send the data.
  • Metric: In networks, a metric is used to choose and determine the best route from source to destination. It is sometimes called a hop counter. Within a local area netowrk, usually only one hop is counted.

Four types of routing commands are generally used within the Windows environment:

  • Print: This is used to display or print the Windows routing table on the display screen.
  • Add: When a new route is required in the routing table, this command is used.
  • Change: This command is used when some changes in the routing table are required.
  • Delete: To delete any specific entry or entries, the delete command is used.

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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.