Reverse Path Forwarding

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What Does Reverse Path Forwarding Mean?

Reverse path forwarding (RPF) is a method in multicast routing that helps to prevent IP address spoofing and other kinds of challenges. This method is called reverse path forwarding because instead of looking forward, the technology handling packet trajectory will look back to check the reverse path of the packet. The packet will be forwarded or dropped based on the findings. Because many consumer-facing technologies now use these systems, the actual engineering of RPF and other methods is becoming extremely important in the practicality of how these systems work.

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Techopedia Explains Reverse Path Forwarding

Part of the idea behind reverse path forwarding is that trajectories work differently for multicast than they do for unicast methods. For example, an engineer might explain that in RPF, a router switch or node can interpret the source address in the multicast packet as a destination address for a unicast packet.

Dropping packets that don’t meet the RPF check allows for efficient forwarding of packets.

Network administrators can use tools like RPF tables to maintain checking protocols. System like reverse path forwarding and different networking methods like unicast and multicast are part of the modern packet switching systems that determine how business gets done across the global Internet and other kinds of networks.

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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.