An Internetwork Example Explains the Role of Routers and Switches

An Internetwork Example Explains the Role of Routers and Switches

There are many different types of networks, but one common example is the internetwork. Typically, large internetwork configurations are made up of separate LANs on each floor. These LANs are connected by a backbone network. This backbone network connects all the LANs.

This is also known as a horizontal network, which derives from the term. This example shows the basics of how networks work. Listed below are some of the different types of networks.


When considering the role of routers in an internetwork, consider their role in routing data. Routing is the process by which datagrams travel over the network and are delivered to the correct destination. To illustrate this concept, consider a typical internetwork: the routers on each side of the network route datagrams to one another. Each router is responsible for forwarding the traffic. However, in some scenarios, a router is responsible for collecting and delivering routing information for all network nodes.


A simple Internetwork example can be used to understand the role of switches. Essentially, switches create a connection state for a packet and then look for the identifier within the header. There are two common approaches to switching: connectionless and connection-oriented. Both have their uses. The connectionless approach is most commonly used, but there are other methods of routing that can be useful. Here’s an example. Let’s say that A sends a setup message to switch 1. This setup message contains the complete destination address of host B. It must reach B. Switches must also know which output to send the message.

Router routing protocols

The best routes to a network’s destinations are determined by the route tables on routers. These tables store information about the entire topology of a network. They contain both the best routes and the backup routes. The distance vector routing protocol uses separate tables to define the best routes and backup routes. This way, a router does not waste bandwidth in locating the best routes to a network’s destination. This protocol is used in large-scale networks to minimize the impact of network traffic.

Class C addresses

The Class C network is the most common type of Internetwork address, and it is defined by having the highest bit order (as a class C network would), 21 bits for the network number and eight bits for the host number. It can support as many as 2,097,152 (2 21) /24 networks, and 254 addresses (8-bits long). This represents about 12.5% of all IPv4 addresses.

IPX protocol

The IPX protocol is a standard for data communication and transport. IPX packets use 32-bit network numbers to identify individual data links. The administrator of each network assigns these numbers, and they must be unique across all connected networks. Routers use these network numbers to route IPX packets to the appropriate destination node. Despite its name, IPX is a routable protocol, so routers and nodes need to know how to send it. Here’s a diagram showing the structure of an IPX packet.

Static routing

Static routing is the use of a manually configured routing entry rather than information that is obtained through dynamic route-finding protocols. In a static router, the network administrator builds and updates the routing table. This method is effective in small internetworks, but it does not scale well to large networks. An internetwork is defined as any pair of networks connected to one another. Here are a few examples of how static routing might benefit your network.

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