Difference between Virtual router and Physical router | Virtual router Vs Physical router

This page compares Virtual router Vs Physical router and mentions difference between virtual router and Physical router or IP router. VRRP i.e. VIRTUAL ROUTER REDUNDANCY PROTOCOL is used in virtual router device.

Virtual Router or VRRP Router

Virtual Router

The physical router with VRRP protocol is known as virtual router. It is also called as VRRP router. VRRP is the short form of VIRTUAL ROUTER REDUNDANCY PROTOCOL.

VRRP router transfers responsibility of routing from one router (called as master) to another router (calles as backup), if original master router goes down. Basically, it provides backup for physical IP router interfaced with outside world.

VRRP protocol running on backup router monitors status of master router and will take over functions of routing in case of master router failure. For example if router-1 is master in the figure and if it fails connectivity of host-1 fails and at this time router-2 take over the functions of router-1 and hence host-1 will be connected with the internet without any break down of services.

VRRP is defined in RFC 2338 and RFC 5798. Virtual router is defined by its VRID (Virtual Router Identifier) and set of IP addresses. Other than VRID virtual router has MAC address and IP address associated like normal physical IP router.

There is field by name priority contained in VRRP packet. Higher the value of 'priority' field, higher is the priority. The field can take any value from 0 to 255.

There is one more field called as 'Authentication Type' which takes any one of the following three values {0,1,2}.
0- No Authentication
1- Simple Text Password
2- IP Authentication Header

Virtual router operates in one of the three states or modes viz. initialize state, master state and backup state. Master router take 255 as priority value while Backup router take 0 as priority value.
Refer How VRRP protocol works for more information.

Physical Router or IP Router

physical router

This is simple IP router without any VRRP functionality. It is also known as logical router as it routes the IP packets based on routing table and destination IP address field contained in the IP header. If router-1 and router-2 are mere physical IP routers and router-1 fails connection of host-1 with the internet will get broken until the routing table entry is done in the router-2 manually. In virtual router, the connection will happen automatically with backup virtual router.
What is Router and Switch Vs Router.

Figure-2 depicts simple wifi router which extends internet connectivity to more than one wifi devices such as tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop PCs etc. The wifi router works along with modem. Modem connects with ISP's server. Router and modem are interfaced together. The virtual router with wifi feature is also available and is known as virtual wifi router.

Networking related links

Basics of OSI and TCPIP layers
Networking Gateway
What is Router
What is an IP address
network switch
network bridge
Hub and Types of Hub
What is MAC address

What is Difference between

Router Vs Switch  hub Vs switch  circuit switching Vs packet switching  firewall Vs router  HDLC Vs PPP  IGRP Vs EIGRP  router Vs bridge  WLAN Vs Ethernet LAN  LAN vs WAN vs MAN 

RF and Wireless Terminologies