Default Route and Classless Routing

By default, if a router receives a packet destined for a subnet it does not recognize, the router discards the packet. However when classless routing is enabled, instead of discarding the packet, the router forwards the packet to the best supernet route.

There are three ways to define gateway of last resort:

ip defaul-gateway
ip default-network
ip route

The ip default-gateway command differs from the other two commands. It should only be used when ip routing is disabled on the Cisco router.

The ip default-network command is classful. It must be issued using the major net, in order to flag the candidate default route. RIP, IGRP and EIGRP understand default-network, and will automatically redistribute it out.

More information can be found at:

Route Selection in Cisco Routers


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