Border Gateway Protocol or BGP belongs to a family of IP routing protocols. It exchanges routing information between gateway hosts, in which each has its own router, and a network of autonomous systems. This is more recent protocol than EGP, the Exterior Gateway Protocol. It is often classified as a path vector protocol, however, it is sometimes also classed as a distance vector routing protocol.
Not only is this protocol often used between gateway hosts over the internet, it is also used for service provider private networks. It is the most scalable of all routing protocols.
In BGP, the routers exchange information about network reachability with their nearest neighbors. For this purpose, each BGP router is configured with the addresses of its peers that it can exchange this information with. BGP protocol exchanges can be authenticated to allow only trusted users to join the exchanging routes.
The original purpose of BGP was to carry internet reachability information, but it has now expanded upon this by carrying routes for VPNs, Multicast and a variety of other data.
Using implementation specific policies, BGP allows modification of routes before they are distributed to the peers. It uses timers for prevention of continual advertisement throughout the internet of a rapidly changing route.
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