Source Routing

What Does Source Routing Mean?

Source routing is a specific routing process where senders can specify the route that data packets take through a network. This allows for troubleshooting and various transmission goals. Source routing is an alternative to traditional routing where packets just move through a network based on their destination.


Source routing is also known as path addressing.

Techopedia Explains Source Routing

There are two different types of source routing – loose and strict. In loose source routing, the packet has to pass through specific listed hops, but in strict source routing, the sender specifies every step on a hop-by-hop basis.

While there are some uses for source routing that experts would term legitimate, such as clearly laying out transmission trajectories, there are also uses that could be beneficial to hackers in smurfing or related attacks. Although source routing is typically not needed, it is an alternative for senders to establish specific broadcast goals.


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Margaret Rouse

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…