What Is IPv4 Unicast Routing?

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Unicast routing is the forwarding of traffic destined to a single location on a network from a source host to a destination host by using routers.

Today, the majority of network traffic worldwide is over Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) networks, and most user-initiated traffic across IPv4 networks is unicast traffic. Unicast IP routing occurs on all IP networks connected by routers, including:

  • An IP intranet not connected to the Internet.

  • The Internet.

  • Intranets that connect to the Internet or to each other through the Internet.

The major operating systems for which TCP/IP is the primary network protocol are Windows and UNIX.

Any Windows network supports unicast IP routing. These include networks that use only hardware routers, networks that use software-based routers such as the Routing and Remote Access service included in Windows Server® 2008, or networks that use a combination of hardware and software routers.

Windows Server 2008 also supports the next generation of IP, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).