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A routing information field (RIF) is an optional field located at the end of the media access control (MAC) address header and right before the user data. This field is used in token ring networks, and it contains routing information that is used by routing bridges to determine where to route tokens when forwarding data from one token ring network to another.
A source bridge cannot forward data without the information in the RIF. This is the common bridge used by token ring networks.
The RIF is part of the token ring header, which contains information and addresses for all the bridges and nodes that the data packet must pass through before reaching its final destination. The RIF can be found at the end of the header, right before the user data.
The RIF is made up of one two-octet routing control field, followed by zero to eight two-octet route-designator fields. The routing control includes the broadcast indicator, length, direction, largest frame and a reserved spot.