Routing is the process of selecting paths in a network along which to send network traffic. Routing is performed for many kinds of networks, including the telephone network and data networks (such as the Internet).
In packet switching networks, routing directs forwarding, the transit of logically addressed packets from their source toward their ultimate destination through intermediate nodes; typically hardware devices called routers, bridges, gateways, firewalls, or switches. Ordinary computers with multiple network cards can also forward packets and perform routing, although they are not specialized hardware and may suffer from limited performance. The routing process usually directs forwarding on the basis of routing tables which maintain a record of the routes to various network destinations. Thus constructing routing tables, which are held in the routers' memory, becomes very important for efficient routing. Most routing algorithms use only one network path at a time, but multipath routing techniques enable the use of multiple alternative paths.
"Routing is subject to attacks that can harm the interconnection of networks as well as the operation of single networks. A smooth operation of routing infrastructure is crucial for the robustness of the Internet. Most threats break down routing functions by hijacking, misusing, misconfiguring, or intercepting assigned numbers, addresses, or name spaces. The current trend indicates that this threat is on the rise."
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