Autonomous Routing

Comparison of Default and Autonomous routing


The massive functional advantages of Autonomous Internet are founded upon the routing technology Autonomous Routing, which has dramatic advantages over traditional Default Routing. This page compares both technologies.

Most end users use Default Routing, which means they send (default) all their outgoing Internet traffic to a provider, and that provider takes care of routing the traffic to its destination on the Internet.

Autonomous Routing essentially means you make your own routing decisions, completely independent of any provider or carrier. This is exactly what providers and carriers themselves do: they also use Autonomous Routing instead of default routing.

Default Routing


The advantage of default routing is that it is simple. You leave all technical details and routing decisions to your provider. If anything is wrong or not working with regards to routing, you call your provider and rely on him to resolve the problem.

For organizations with small traffic volumes and where Internet is not mission critical for core business, default routing is a simple and appropriate solution.


Default routing does however have serious disadvantages, which generally become more pressing when Internet is core business for your organization and/or you have a higher traffic volume:

- Your Internet connection is inherently not redundant. As you send all of your traffic (default) to one provider, your are completely dependant: if your link to him is down or if their is any problem in his network or his routing, you cannot automatically let your traffic switch over to a backup.

- All traffic is handled at one (high) price.

It is impossible to distinguish between local (national, peering) and global (international, transit) traffic. The cost-price for local traffic is generally much lower then for global traffic. But because your provider cannot measure, let alone predict, where your traffic is going, he will bill all of your traffic based on the wost-case scenario: that all traffic is (expensive) global traffic.

- Indirect routing: less efficient paths

Your provider has full control over how your traffic is routed, and he might decide to route your traffic over less efficient and longer paths, for example because of lower costs or commitments he has made to upstream carriers. He might even oversubscribe (sell more bandwidth then he buys) or there might be inherent bottlenecks somewhere in his network design that you cannot see and cannot control.

- Locked in: Provider Dependent IP Addresses.

You generally get your IP Addresses from your provider, from a larger block (called Provider Aggregatable or "PA" space) that can only be routed on the Internet by him. Therefore, anytime you change provider, you will need to renumber your network.

Autonomous Routing


With Autonomous Routing, decisions how to route your traffic are made one step earlier, at your own router under your control instead of at your provider's router. This ability enables you to:

  • Redundantly route traffic to multiple providers/carriers (either in load balancing or failover setup);
  • Route your traffic away from network problems, outages, bottlenecks, etc;
  • Route local and global traffic separately (at lower cost);
  • Automatically use the shortest and fastest path (carrier) for each destination;
  • Avoid a provider-lock-in by using Provider Independent IP addresses.


Implementing and running an Autonomous Network is definitely not rocket science. But it is not as trivial either: it inherently brings more complexity then default routing.

However, Open Peering is very experienced in implementing and running Autonomous Networks, and can either assist you in every step or do it for you. And Open Peering offers a Zero Risk Guarantee on implementation of Autonomous Routing, assuring you it will simply work.

For more information please contact us: we are happy to talk the whole process through in advance.