What is RIP? | Routing Information Protocol Fundamentals

Suppose you’re trying to figure out how to move around complex networks. In that case, you might find the Routing Information Protocol (RIP) helpful. It was made to deal with challenging network problems. It’s stayed popular because it’s simple to use and can work with lots of different network types.

In this article, we’ll talk about what RIP is, what it can do, its good points, its bad points, and why it’s still useful for network experts today. Whether you’re just starting with networks or you’re already experienced, keep reading to find out why it is handy and how it can make managing your network easier.

What is the RIP Protocol?

Credit: CiscoPress

Getting to Know RIP: A Simple Way to Navigate Complicated Networks

The Routing Information Protocol (RIP) was created to handle tricky network situations. It’s stayed popular because it’s easy to use and works with lots of different networks.

It is a type of networking standard used by routers inside a network. It comes from the XEROX GWINFO protocol and is known for being really compatible with different kinds of interlinked systems. Even though the internet has evolved a lot, it still needs to work with all types of routing gear, and that’s where it comes in handy.

The History of the RIP Protocol

Routing Information is one of the oldest ways computers talk to each other in LANs. It’s more fancy than newer methods, but lots of people still like it because it’s easy and works well.

It has been around for a while and has changed to keep up with new stuff like IPv6. Nowadays, there’s a version called RIPng (latest generation) that fits with today’s network needs.

How Routing Information Protocol Changed Over Time

It has an incredible story behind it. It started with something called the Gateway Information Protocol (GWINFO), which Xerox made. Later on, it turned into what we now call the RIP networking standard.

It was first created for the Xerox Network System (XNS). It got trendy when it became part of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) as a directed daemon.

The very first version of it, also called RIPv1, was named to set it apart from RIPv2, even though they do pretty much the same stuff. As time went on, it kept changing and is still a big deal in networking tech today.

RIP Protocol Features

Here’s what you need to know about Routing Information Protocol:

  • RIP uses distance and direction to find the best path.
  • RIP measures distance by counting hops.
  • If a path has more than 15 hops, it thinks it’s too far.
  • When you set up a new router, you need to tell it about the networks in your network.
  • Messages are sent every 30 seconds to keep the network maps current and working.

When you set up a new router, you have to tell it about the networks in your network, like with most routing methods.

What are the RIP Versions?

Version 1 (RIPv1)

It is a type of routing protocol explained in RFC 1058. It sorts IP addresses into classes. But it can’t handle different-sized masks (VLSM) or classless addressing (CIDR).

This means networks using V1 need to have a set netmask for each IP address class, which could be more efficient. Also, it doesn’t have any built-in ways to check if messages are accurate, making it easy for hackers to mess with.

Version 2 (RIPv2)

Because Version 1 had problems, the RIPv2 came out in 1993 and became official in 1998. This new version can deal with subnets, so it works with CIDR and VLSM. It still keeps the 15-hop limit to work with older V1 systems.

I also added a ‘compatibility key’ feature to help different systems work together better.

V2 has ways to check if messages are authentic. One method, developed by Ronald Rivest in 1997, uses MD5 encryption, which is explained in RFC 1723 and RFC 4822.


The job of dealing with the RIP for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is given to the thing named in the document with the number RFC 2080.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of RIP Protocol

1. Advantages

Routing Information Protocol is a common way for computers to talk in networks, and it has good and bad sides. One big plus is that it’s straightforward to set up and use, especially compared to other ways. That’s why lots of small and medium LANs like it – it keeps things simple.

Another good thing about it is that it’s an open system. That means there are variations of it out there, even if they don’t always work perfectly together. Most companies support this networking standard, so it’s easy to fit into LANs that already exist.

2. Disadvantages

However, there are some downsides to this communication framework that you need to know about. One big problem is that it needs to consider things like how much space is available on a route when it decides which one to take. This can mean it picks slower routes, especially in networks with lots of traffic.

Another area for improvement is that it’s meant for something other than tricky path-determination problems. It was made for simple networks, so it only has some of the fancy features that other path-determination methods do. This can make it less useful in extensive, complicated LANs.

In general, it is an essential and trustworthy way for computers to talk in LANs, and it’s great for small or medium interlinked systems. But for more extensive ones that need fancier routing tricks, there might be better options out there.

RIP Protocol’s Show Commands

This protocol’s show commands help you see details about the routing setup and how it’s doing on a network device. These commands are handy for fixing network connection problems and finding issues.

Some common show commands for this are show ip rip database, show ip rip interface, and show ip protocols.

RIP Routing Commands
show ip rip databaseIt displays all its routing information.
show ip route ripIt shows its routing table.
show ip rip databaseIt displays its routing database.
show ip rip statisticsIt shows its routing statistics.
show ip rip neighborIt displays its neighbors.
show ip rip interfaceIt shows its interface information.
show running-config | section router ripIt displays its routing configuration.
debug ip ripIt displays its routing debug information.


To sum up, the Routing Information Protocol (RIP) is an easy, popular, and open way for computers to find their way around networks. Even though it’s been around for a while, it’s still valuable for today’s LANs.

In short, the RIP routing is good because it’s easy to use and works with lots of different setups. Still, it does have its downsides, especially for complicated LANs. Overall, networking can be helpful for both beginners and experts. Still, it’s essential to think about what it’s good at and what it’s not before using it in a network.

Unlike RIP, there are two other popular ones, EIGRP and OSPF. It is also known as the Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, which is a particular type of communication standard used by Cisco. It mixes the good parts of different methods to make things work better. We have an article called on what EIGRP is that explains how it all works.

On the flip side, OSPF, which stands for Open Shortest Path First, is a different kind of routing protocol often used in big business LANs. It’s really good at handling extensive networks and working quickly. To learn more about it, you can read our article on what OSPF is for a detailed look at how it works and why it’s useful.

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