Routing Information Field

What Does Routing Information Field Mean?

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.

Techopedia Explains Routing Information Field

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.


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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…