Default Gateway

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How can we define a default route?

In the world of computer networking, a default route can be defined as a setting on the computer which identifies which packet forwarding regulation or rule to utilize in the case when a specific route can be established for a certain IP (short for Internet Protocol) destination address. As a matter of fact, all the destination packets which are not determined in the routing table can be sent by way of the default route. This route usually aims towards another router, and in turn, the router handles the packet in the same manner: namely, if a route can match it, the packet can be forwarded correspondingly, or else it is forwarded to that router’s default route. Also, this process is repeated until the time when the packet reaches its designated destination. What is more, every router traversal is regarded as a hop within the distance calculating for the path of transmission. And the device, computer or machine device towards which the default route is directed is frequently named the default gateway, which habitually performs other functions (as for example firewalling, packet filtering, and proxy server operations).

But what exactly is a default route?

A default route is also called an RIB or routing information base, and this is a table for the data which is stored within a networked device or a router and which gives a list of all the routes for specific destinations on the network; moreover, the routing table includes some information regarding properties of the network space which directly surrounds it. Also, it is routing protocols which have as their primary aim to construct routing tables.

So what is the definition of a default gateway?

In computer networking, a default gateway can be defined as the node for which it is implied that it has the knowledge of forwarding packets to another network. Usually in a network of the TCP/IP type, nodes like for example workstations, servers, as well as network devices all have a distinct setting for the default route setting (which points toward the default gateway), which helps to define the place for sending the packets for those IP addresses whose specific routes cannot be determined. It is important to note that the gateway is also by definition a router (which is defined as a networking device which serves for forwarding data packets – formatted items of data which are conveyed by so called packet switched networks – between data networks, also called computer networks). In fact, in such environments as small offices or homes, devices such as for example cable routers or DSL routers which link the local network and the Internet will take on the role of a default gateway for each and every network device. Furthermore, there may be a number of internal network sections in enterprising systems. For example, a device which aims to enact communication with a certain Internet address can forward the given packet for their section to the default gateway. In turn, this can convey the packet on to a sequence of additional default gateways before leaving the enterprise. And it should be noted that in that kind of situation, every gateway node can also operate as a firewall and a proxy server.

What precisely is the difference between default gateways, default route information origins, and the IP route Also, how is this route selected?

A default gateway is typically utilized on switches which are not L3 switches or routers, or alternatively, on “hosts.” As a point of fact, all it does is indicate to a router that it has the knowledge on how to exit. Thus, the term of “default route” by and large stands for “default-information originate” and “IP route x.x.x.x.” In layman’s terms, this means that in the case that there is no specific route, it can be sent to x.x.x.x – and as a consequence, the router is bound to resolve the issue. In addition, the phrase “default-information originate” is exactly the same as an “IP route,” but it is being sent by way of a routing protocol.


On the other hand, in the case that a router gains knowledge about a default route from a different router by way of a routing process, there will be an extra cost, as well as the routing protocol’s administrative distance.

In conclusion: what does mean in the context of a routing table?

It is relevant to note that every network host possesses a default route intended for every network card. Consequently, a route for every card will be created. Hence, the address usually has the meaning of “any given address.” However, in the case that a packet destination fails to match a particular address in the table, the packet needs to match the gateway address. In saying this simply and succinctly: a default gateway is always directed by