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A backbone router is a type of router that links separate systems in different meshes of a network with each other. As its name suggests, a backbone router plays the role of a backbone in any network connection and, as such, is part of the backbone network. It makes the connection of any independent system with outside networks possible.
A backbone is not an ordinary router; it must be high performing and reliable because it must handle hundreds of processes from dozens of systems at a time. A backbone router typically has a strong processing ability and a lot of memory. Its routing tables are huge in order to allow the steady flow of data from hundreds of machines. Depending on the protocol, a backbone router connects the major networks together. Backbone routers come with dedicated operating systems, such as Cisco Systems' Internetwork Operating System (IOS).