RIP imposes a hop count of 15 to help prevent routing loops which can occur when bad (for example, stale) routing information is broadcast and propagated through a network either due to misconfiguration, or slow convergence. Consider if the link between Router D and Router E failed in the example in Maximum Hops, and there were no safeguards in place:
- Router A’s routing information states that it can reach Network E through Router B or Router C with a metric of 3.
- When the link between Router D and Router E fail, and Router A broadcasts its routing information, Router B and Router C determine that they can reach Network E through Router A with a metric of 4.
- Router B and Router C broadcast this information, and it is received by Router D which then determines it can reach Network E through Router B or Router C with a metric of 5.
- This loop continues until the hop count of 16 (infinity) is reached.
Other measures against this sort of situation are also commonly employed by RIP, including:
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