What scenarios are appropriate for using static routing? When should I use static routing?

Routing in an Internet Protocol (IP) based network is the process of moving packetized data from one network to another across an internetwork based on  the destination addresses in the headers of the data packets.  Routers are specialized computer devices that perform routing.  Routers can learn routes two ways, dynamically and statically.   Dynamic routing involves using what is called a routing protocol to distribute information about how to get to remote networks.  Dynamic routing protocols learn what networks are connected to the local router, pass that information to other routers and calculate the shortest path to all destination networks.  Static routing is the process of manually configuring a router with knowledge of the network destinations.

Configuring routing manually is fairly easy when there are very few networks and routers–anything above half a dozen becomes a challenge to track and maintain.  The more routers and networks exist, the harder it becomes to maintain a stable routing environment as the number of routes an administrator must enter into each of the routers grows beyond the capability of a human mind to keep track of.

Networks that change frequently are not appropriate for static routing.  Networks that utilize wireless, satellite, ISDN or dial-up connections between networks are often better served with dynamic routing which can adapt more easily and readily to changes.

Networks that grow, especially networks that are growing quickly, are better off with dynamic routing.

Networks containing a single router and just a few subnets might be better off with static routing.

If you’re new to networking, you might want to read more about following topics:

  • Network
  • Internetwork
  • Route
  • Router
  • Routing
  • Dynamic vs. Static Routing