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Definition: distance vector protocol

A simple routing protocol that uses distance or hop count as its primary metric for determining the best forwarding path. RIP, IGRP and EIGRP are examples. A distance vector protocol routinely sends its neighboring routers copies of its routing tables to keep them up-to-date. Distance vector protocols date back to the ARPAnet network in the early 1970s. Contrast with link state protocol and path vector protocol. See routing protocol.