On the Internet, routing is the way IP packets of data travel from their origin to their destination. Network routing is the process of selecting a path across one or more networks. The principles of routing can apply to any type of network, from telephone networks to public transportation. In packet-switching networks, such as the Internet, routing selects the paths for Internet Protocol (IP) packets to travel from their origin to their destination. These Internet routing decisions are made by specialized pieces of network hardware called routers.
Consider the image below. For a data packet to get from Computer A to Computer B, should it pass through networks 1, 3, and 5 or networks 2 and 4? The packet will take a shorter path through networks 2 and 4, but networks 1, 3, and 5 might be faster at forwarding packets than 2 and 4. These are the kinds of choices network routers constantly make. Learn more in the cloudflare Learning Center.
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