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IP forwarding

IP forwarding

IP forwarding definition

IP forwarding is the process where a router accepts incoming network traffic or packets on one interface and forwards them to their destination after it recognizes that they’re meant for another network or system. IP forwarding is a fundamental method of sharing and transferring information between the source and the destination, which are usually located on two different systems. It determines the route that network packets will take to go from their source to their destination. However, IP forwarding can be subject to many cybersecurity threats and attacks. For example, if IP forwarding is implemented incorrectly or with inadequate security measures, it can be exploited by attackers to bypass firewalls or gain unauthorized access to routers. Improper configuration can also consume significant bandwidth and potentially impact network performance. It’s essential to configure IP forwarding correctly and apply appropriate security measures to mitigate such risks.

See also: private IP, IPv4

IP forwarding forms

Direct forwarding. Direct IP forwarding happens when the operating system needs to forward network packets from a source to a destination that are located on a network running on the same router or host. So, it forwards the packets directly to their destination.

Indirect forwarding. Indirect IP forwarding happens when the operating system needs to forward network packets to a destination that is not located on the same network as the source. This is a more complicated process than direct forwarding because the router or host is located further down the internetwork.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security