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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Lower-Layer (Interface, Internet and Transport) Protocols (OSI Layers 2, 3 and 4)
      9  TCP/IP Internet Layer (OSI Network Layer) Protocols
           9  TCP/IP Routing Protocols (Gateway Protocols)
                9  TCP/IP Interior Routing Protocols (RIP, OSPF, GGP, HELLO, IGRP, EIGRP)

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TCP/IP Interior Routing Protocols (RIP, OSPF, GGP, HELLO, IGRP, EIGRP)
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RIP Fundamentals and General Operation
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TCP/IP Routing Information Protocol (RIP, RIP-2 and RIPng)

The most popular of the TCP/IP interior routing protocols is the Routing Information Protocol (RIP). The simplicity of the name matches the simplicity of the protocol—RIP is one of the easiest to configure and least resource-demanding of all the routing protocols. Its popularity is due both to this simplicity and its long history. In fact, support for RIP has been built into operating systems for as long as TCP/IP itself has existed.

In this section I describe the characteristics and operation of the TCP/IP Routing Information Protocol (RIP). There are three versions of RIP: RIP versions 1 and 2 for IP version 4 and RIPng (next generation) for IP version 6. The basic operation of the protocol is mostly the same for all three versions, but there are also some notable differences between them, especially in terms of the format of messages sent.

For this reason, I have divided my description of RIP into two subsections. In the first, I describe the fundamental attributes of RIP and its operation in general terms for all three versions. In the second, I take a closer look at each version, showing the message format used for each and discussing version-specific features as well.

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