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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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IP Routing Concepts and the Process of Next-Hop Routing

IP's ability to route information is what allows us to use it to create the equivalent of a virtual internetwork that spans potentially thousands of physical networks, allowing devices even on opposite ends of the globe communicate. Let's take a brief look at key IP routing concepts.

To continue with our postal system analogy, I can send a letter from my home in the United States to someone in, say, India, and the postal systems of both countries will work (or should work) to deliver the letter to its destination. However, when I drop a letter in the mailbox, it's not like someone shows up, grabs the letter, and hand-delivers it to the right address in India. The letter travels from the mailbox ...

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