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Overview of the Routing Information Protocol (RIP)



Article ID: KB4164 KB Last Updated: 04 Jun 2010Version: 3.0
Overview of the Routing Information Protocol (RIP)


Note: This article applies to ScreenOS 4.0 and higher.

Routing Information Protocol (RIP) is a distance vector protocol used as an Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) in moderate-sized autonomous systems (ASs). ScreenOS 4.0.0-DIAL supports RIP version 2 (RIPv2), as defined by RFC 2453. While RIPv2 supports only simple password (plain text) authentication, NetScreen's RIP implementation also supports MD5 authentication extensions, as defined by RFC 2082.

As mentioned previously, RIP is intended for moderate-sized networks. It can also be used to manage route information within a small network such as a corporate LAN. The longest path allowed in a RIP network is 15 hops. A metric value of 16 indicates an invalid or unreachable destination (this value is also referred to as "infinity" since it is larger than the 15-hop maximum allowed in RIP networks).

RIP is not intended for large networks or networks where routes are chosen based on real-time parameters such as measured delay, reliability, or load. RIP supports both point-to-point networks (used with VPNs) and broadcast/multicast Ethernet networks. RIP does not support point-to-multipoint interfaces.

RIP sends out messages that contain the complete routing table to every neighboring router every 30 seconds. These messages are normally sent as multicasts to address from the RIP port.

The RIP routing database contains one entry for every destination that is reachable through the RIP routing instance. The RIP routing database includes the following information:

  • IPv4 address of a destination. (RIP does not distinguish between networks and hosts.)
  • IP address of the first router along the route to the destination (the next hop).
  • Network interface used to reach the first router.
  • Metric that indicates the distance, or cost, of getting to the destination. Most RIP implementations use a metric of 1 for each network.
  • A timer that indicates the time that has elapsed since the database entry was last updated.

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