Software & Apps

What Is a Router Table?

Have you ever wondered how your mobile or PC connects to a website or another device using a network? Well, if you did, today we will help you better understand how routers work by explaining Router Tables. Router Tables, also known as routing tables, help a device connect to other devices on that network.

Quick Answer

A router table is a table that stores the IP Address of all the devices on a network. The router can use this table to determine how to connect to other devices on the network. With that said, the router Table also stores the Gateway, User interface, and Flag information. A user can access this table to better understand their router’s working.

Router Tables can be very hard to understand at first, but once you have a basic understanding of what category represents what, understanding it becomes very easy. With that said, we will be listing out everything you need to know regarding the Router Table. 

Therefore, be sure to go through this entire guide.

How to Access the Router Table?

If you are on Windows, you will be able to access your routing table through the command prompt. To access your router table, follow the below-mentioned steps.

  1. Open your “Start Menu”.
  2. Type in cmd and run it.
  3. Inside the command prompt type route print and press Enter.

By following these steps, you will be able to access your router table on Windows. However, if you using Linux, you need to.

  1. Open Root.
  2. Inside the root window, type in Route and press Enter.
  3. You will be able to see the Router Table below.

Understanding Router Table 

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Even though we have previously discussed what router tables are, knowing their functionality is crucial in truly understanding them. With that said, we will go through each of the columns present inside a router table.

Destination

The destination column stores the IP addresses of your final destination. If you are trying to connect to a website or a device, the router will look at the Destination column to reach there. In cases where a router can’t find the final destination, it just uses the default Destination.

Gateway 

In its essence, Gateway is a door for your router. The gateway allows a user to connect to different networks and without it, your devices won’t be able to connect to the internet. If you still didn’t understand what Gateways are, we will leave an example for you down below to better understand it.

So imagine you are trying to use the internet on your mobile. How do you think you are going to connect to the internet? Well, your mobile is going to use the Router as a door to access the network. This means that every time you send or receive data from another network, it has to pass through that Gateway.

GenMask 

GenMask is a subnet mask. Subnet masks allow a device to create subdivisions of an IP Address; these new IP addresses can now be used to connect to other devices on the same network. However, whenever your device connects to another network, it will be using your router’s IP Address instead.

Flags

There are quite a few flags you will encounter on the Router Table, but the most common ones are U and G. U indicates that a route is up and running while G represents a Gateway route. A Flag can have more than one indicator at a time. For example, UG.

Connecting to a Website

Now imagine that you want to connect to a website with an IP Address of 54.123.2.2. To connect to that website, your router will go to its router table and look up the Destination column. The first IP Address the router reads will be the Default route. After that, the router will read each route IP Address one at a time.

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If any of the routes doesn’t match the IP Address the user entered, the router will go to the Default address instead. After your device leaves the Gateway to connect to another network, no matter what IP Address your device has before leaving the router, it will now be using your router’s IP Address.

Summary 

We hope that this guide has helped you understand what Router Tables are and how to access them. Moreover, we hope that now you can better understand the functioning of a router. That being said, we know how confusing the router table can be for someone who isn’t very tech-savvy, but don’t give up and try going through this guide as many times as you want.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the 3 types of routes found in a routing table?

There are three types of routes in a routing table.

1) Static Route 
2) Default Route
3) Dynamic Route

The static Route requires the user to enter the IP Address manually, while the Default Route uses the same final route for each device. The third route, also known as Dynamic Route, uses different protocols to reach the final required destination.

How does a router table help me connect to a printer? 

Router Tables are not only used to connect to other networks, but they can also be used to connect to devices present on the same network. Whenever you try connecting to your printer, your router goes through all of the available IP Addresses on your Router Table. When your Router finds the IP Address of your printer, it creates a connection with it which in turn allows you to use the printer. 

How do I add a route to a table in Linux?

If you want to add a route to your routing table on Linux, you need to enter the “IP route add” command in your Root. However, don’t forget to put in the IP Address you plan to add to the table right after the IP route command.

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