What are the key characteristics of OSPF?

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OSPF has the following features:

Fast Convergence OSPF can detect and propagate topology changes faster than RIP. Count-to-infinity does not occur with OSPF.

Loop-Free Routes OSPF-calculated routes are always loop-free.

Scalability With OSPF, an AS can be subdivided into contiguous groups of networks called areas. Routes within areas can be summarized to minimize route table entries. Areas can be configured with a default route summarizing all routes outside the AS or outside the area. As a result, OSPF can scale to large and very large internetworks. In contrast, RIP for IP internetworks cannot be subdivided and no route summarization is done beyond the summarizing for all subnets of a network ID.

Subnet Mask Advertised with the Network OSPF was designed to advertise the subnet mask with the network. OSPF supports variable-length subnet masks (VLSM), disjointed subnets, and supernetting.

Support for Authentication Information exchanges between OSPF routes can be authenticated.

Support for External Routes Routes outside of the OSPF AS are advertised within the AS so that OSPF routers can calculate the least cost route to external networks.
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