What is RouterOS?
MikroTik RouterOS is the operating system of MikroTik RouterBOARD hardware. It can also be installed on a PC and will turn it into a router with all the necessary features - routing, firewall, bandwidth management, wireless access point, backhaul link, hotspot gateway, VPN server and more.
RouterOS is a stand-alone operating system based on the Linux v2.6 kernel, and our goal here at MikroTik is to provide all these features with a quick and simple installation and an easy to use interface.
You can try RouterOS today, go to www.mikrotik.com and download the installation CD image. The free trial provides all of the features with no limitations. In the following pages you will find examples of some of the most important RouterOS features.
The firewall implements packet filtering and thereby provides security functions, that are used to manage data flow to, from and through the router. Along with the Network Address Translation it serves for preventing unauthorized access to directly attached networks and the router itself as well as a filter for outgoing traffic.
RouterOS features a stateful firewall, which means that is performs stateful packet inspection and keeps track of the state of network connections traveling across it. It also supports Source and Destionation NAT (Network Address Translation), NAT helpers for popular applications and UPnP.
The Firewall provides features to make use of internal connection, routing and packet marks. It can filter by IP address, address range, port, port range, IP protocol, DSCP and other parameters, also supports Static and Dynamic Address Lists, and can match packets by pattern in their content, specified in Regular Expressions, called Layer7 matching.
The RouterOS Firewall facility also supports IPv6.
RouterOS supports static routing and a multitude of dynamic routing protocols.
• For IPv4 it supports RIP v1 and v2, OSPF v2, BGP v4.
• For IPv6 it supports RIPng, OSPFv3 and BGP.
RouterOS also suppors Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF), Policy based routing, Interface based routing and ECMP routing. You can use the Firewall filter to mark specific connections with Routing marks, and then make the marked traffic use a different ISP.
Now with MPLS support added to RouterOS, VRF is also introduced. Virtual Routing and Forwarding is a technology that allows multiple instances of a routing table to co-exist within the same router at the same time. Because the routing instances are independent, the same or overlapping IP addresses can be used without conflicting with each other. VRF also increases network security. It is often used in, but not limited to MPLS networks.