Routing is a term used to describe the method used to select paths on a network to send network traffic through. Network traffic is sent through network nodes called routers.

There are two main types of routing which are:

  1. Network Routing - Information about network conditions and routes is managed two ways:
    1. Static routing
    2. Dynamic routing
  2. Source Routing

When using network routing the knowledge about the network layout is in the network routing devices. The routing device will choose the path of each data packet based on the destination IP of the packet. Some network routing may be static where the routing configuration is set when the routers are first configured and traffic is always routed the same way. Other network routing may use a dynamic routing protocol to update the routers with information about the state and configuration of the network. When dynamic routing is used, network paths may change as network conditions change.

Source routing is a different method than network routing and source routing can be used to specify the route that a packet should take through the network. The path through the network is set by the source or a device that tells the network source the desired path. It is assumed that the source of the packet knows about the layout of the network and can specify the best path for the packet. Source routing can produce some security problems.