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What are the reasons why anyone would configure a static route on a small home LAN? Are there performance gains? Hardware/config issues that they circumvent?

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3 Answers 3

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Static routing should not be used unless you're absolutely sure you need it.

The only scenario I can think of where you'll have to use it in a small business network is this: you need to access some external LAN behind a router with a static IP address, and the route to that LAN is not advertised via any dynamic routing protocol (BGP, etc.). In this case you'll have to set up a static route that points to that router. This is a rare situation and in my opinion 99.999% of all small business or home networks do not need to use static routing.

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Great, candid answer - thank you! –  pnongrata Jan 4 '12 at 17:57
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One example of usage is if you use a VPN. In one scenario, I had a Linux server that connected to a company VPN and exposed a completely different block of IP addresses. I needed the router to route anything to this block, from other PCs, to the Linux server so that all PCs on a home network could get to the work VPN.

Another example might be if you have multiple routers to better cover your home with WIFI and you need to setup the routing of one to be different since it has no outside Internet connection.

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That's a great answer and thanks sleeves; I upvoted it but could not give you the green check because haimg's answer was more suited to home LANs. But thanks again! –  pnongrata Jan 4 '12 at 17:57
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You know, the fact that Linksys's firmware for home routers exposes a static route option is mystifying to me. I'm not able to think of any situation in which this would be useful to a typical user, or even most advanced users. I suspect the fact that Linksys devices expose this just reflects the fact that Cisco manufactures commercial network hardware. In my experience non-Linksys home routers do not expose static routing options.

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D-Link also has it (but at least it's hidden under "Advanced" tab) –  haimg Jan 4 '12 at 17:21
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