IP Basics - Routing 101 Static vs. Dynamic Routing
There are two methods of configuring a routing table. If the table is populated by you (or by a script on your behalf) using the route command, then it is known as static routing. If it is populated automatically by a daemon such as routed, you are using dynamic routing.

I am a fan of static routing, because the reassurance of knowing exactly what the router will do with a packet at all times is worth the extra effort on my part. However, static routing cannot be used in every situation, and is by no means the only way to do things with Linux. (More information about dynamic routing daemons for Linux can be found in Section 8.4.)

If this material is new to you, hopefully you're feeling more acquainted with TCP/IP routing than you were before. If you're not, there are many good tutorials on TCP/IP subnetting available on the Internet, as well as numerous books on the subject. One such tutorial is at http://www.sangoma.com/fguide.htm; another is the IP-Subnetworking mini-HOWTO, part of the LDP.

Being able to calculate network addresses, subnet masks, and being able to convert subnet masks from binary to the # of maskbits representation are all important day-to-day things for network admins. The next section is about private address space--address space which you can use to build your own IP network, as long as you keep it isolated from the Internet.