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What kind of devices use function of router advertisement (ie. to know about router in their way) and why? Why I should enable router advertisement on my router in my home network?

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migrated from Nov 14 '10 at 19:58

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

There are several types of "router advertisement", RIP and IPv6 standard are mentioned below in the answers already. Considering it's a home router, I doubt it's OSPF, BGP, or any of the others out there. You'd have to be more specific for us to provide a decent answer though. – Chris S Nov 14 '10 at 19:37
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It sounds like you have a home router that has an "enable router advertisements" checkbox. This is likely referring to IPv6 router advertisements, which notify the computers on your network that the router is their IPv6 gateway to the internet, and let the computers get IPv6 addresses.

If you have IPv6-enabled Internet service (not very likely in the US, but several European and Asian ISPs provide it), you should definitely enable it, otherwise your computers won't be able to use IPv6. If you don't have IPv6 service, checking it shouldn't hurt, but may make a few things break if other settings are improperly configured.

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The routers that are running routing protocols such as RIP use the router advertisements to inform the neighboring routers about the existence of other networks (subnets). So, all the routers share this information to enable the full network connectivity between different subnets.

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