Static routing provides predefined routes in a static routing table. Static routing systems don't make any attempt to discover other routers or systems on their networks. Instead, you manually tell the routing engine how to get data to other networks; specifically, you tell it what other networks are reachable from your network by specifying the network addresses, subnet masks, and a metric for each network. This information goes into the system's routing table. When an outgoing packet arrives at the routing engine, the engine can examine the routing table to select the lowest-cost route to the destination. If there's no explicit entry in the routing table for that network, the packet goes to the default gateway, which is then entrusted with getting the packet to where it needs to go.
Static routing is faster and more efficient than dynamic routing. Static routing works well with a small network that doesn't change much. You can identify the remote networks to which you want to route and then add static routes to them to reflect the costs and topology of your network. In Windows Server 2003, you maintain static routes with the route command, which allows you to either see the contents of the routing table or modify it by adding and removing static routes to individual networks.
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