Definition

Routing Information Protocol (RIP)

Also see raster image processor (RIP).

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) is a widely-used protocol for managing router information within a self-contained network such as a corporate local area network (LAN) or an interconnected group of such LANs. RIP is classified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as one of several internal gateway protocols (Interior Gateway Protocol).

Using RIP, a gateway host (with a router) sends its entire routing table (which lists all the other hosts it knows about) to its closest neighbor host every 30 seconds. The neighbor host in turn will pass the information on to its next neighbor and so on until all hosts within the network have the same knowledge of routing paths, a state known as network convergence. RIP uses a hop count as a way to determine network distance. (Other protocols use more sophisticated algorithms that include timing as well.) Each host with a router in the network uses the routing table information to determine the next host to route a packet to for a specified destination.

RIP is considered an effective solution for small homogeneous networks. For larger, more complicated networks, RIP's transmission of the entire routing table every 30 seconds may put a heavy amount of extra traffic in the network.

The major alternative to RIP is the Open Shortest Path First Protocol (OSPF).

Contributor(s): Mike Baker, Robertson Pimentel, and Terry Yamamoto
This was last updated in March 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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