What is RIP (Routing Information Protocol)?

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) is the first protocol developed and used to meet the increasing demands of complex networks over time. It is still popular because of its simplicity and wide compatibility.

It is an internal gateway protocol or IGP (Internal Gateway Protocol) used by routers, derived from the XEROX GWINFO protocol and becoming the most compatible protocol for networks. Even if the Internet is considered to be efficient, it needs the ability to work with any routing equipment.


The oldest distance vector is the routing protocol. Although it does not have the complexity of the most advanced routing protocols, its simplicity and wide use are proof of its continuity. Although it is an old protocol, today there is an IPv6-RIP type called RIPng (new generation).


This protocol was developed from an old protocol called Gateway Information Protocol (GWINFO) developed at Xerox. With the development of the Xerox Network System (XNS), GWINFO has evolved to RIP. Later, it gained popularity because it was implemented as a directed daemon in Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). The first version of RIP is usually called RIPv1 to distinguish it from RIPv2. However, both versions share similar functionality.


  • The distance vector is the routing protocol.
  • Uses hop count as the only measurement for route selection.
  • Hop numbers greater than 15 are considered inaccessible.
  • Messages are transmitted every 30 seconds.

When you add a new router to your network, you must specify networks in the router’s configuration mode, as with many routing protocols by default.

RIP Versions

Version 1 (RIPv1): A class routing protocol originally defined in RFC 1058, that is, it defines by the classes of IP addresses. Therefore, RIPv1 does not support variable-sized masks (VLSM) or classless addressing (CIDR).

This means that networks processed by the protocol must have a predefined netmask for IP address classes, which is not very efficient. In addition, RIPv1 also does not include any authentication mechanisms for messages, making it vulnerable to attacks.

Version 2 (RIPv2): Due to the limitations of Version 1, RIPv2 was developed in 1993.2 and lastly standardized in 1998. This version supports subnets, thus allowing CIDR and VLSM. In addition, 15 jump limits are maintained to provide backward compatibility with RIPv1.

Added a “compatibility key” feature to make interoperability settings more precise.

RIPv2 supports authentication using one of the following mechanisms. MD5-encoded authentication was developed by Ronald Rivest in 1997 and features in RFC 17234 and RFC 4822.5.

RIPng: RIP for IPv6 is managed by RFC 2080.


  • RIP is easier to configure (compared to other protocols).
  • It is an open protocol (supports derivative versions but is not necessarily compatible).
  • Supported by most manufacturers.


  • The main disadvantage is that it does not evaluate criteria such as bandwidth when determining the best metric.
  • It is not designed to solve routing problems RFC 1720 (STD 1).

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