Routing
One of the major functions of a network protocol such as TCP/IP is to efficiently interconnect several disparate networks. These networks can include LANs and WANs, fast and slow, reliable and unreliable, inexpensive and expensive connections.
To interconnect these networks, some level of intelligence is needed at the boundaries to look at the data packets as they pass, and make rational decisions as to where and how they should be forwarded. ...

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