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Why do routers often use a loopback address as identifier?

English: internal loopback setup
English: internal loopback setup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever wondered why routers often use a loopback address as an identifier? The reason is pretty simple: contrary to a line interface that can go down if the carrier signal is lost, for example, the loopback interface is never down! So, using the adress of a loopback interface as a router identifier is not a bad idea.

That's the reason why the common practice in OSPF, is to use the loopback address as a router indentifier, even if nothing prevents you from defining another router ID.


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2 comments :

  1. Could you explain what is carrier signal mean?

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    1. Sure! It is an electrical signal carried by the wire. It enables the network interfaces to detect if the wire is plugged correctly / if the interface on the other side of the wire is up or down.

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