You can do routing on a Linux Based box and for that matter Windows also has support for routing. But when you talk about a real time, all available network would you really depend upon a PC to routing for you when it has a load of other things to do. Routers are meant for routing only not for running applications which Linux/Windows boxes are meant for. The OS, routers run on, are solely written for routing where as for Windows it's a part of the kernel, so routing is limited to some extent.
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