From Hunt's TCP/IP Network Adminstration:
Gateways route data between networks, but all network devices, hosts as well as gateways, must make routing decisions.
Is it correct that routing decisions are made only for communication across different networks?
For communication within a network (whether it is in an internetwork or not),
does any device in the network need to make routing decisions?
does any device in the network necessarily have a routing table or something similar?
If a device makes routing decision, that that mean the device has a routing table or something similar? If a device has a routing table or something similar, does it make routing decision?
Or, do only gateway devices have to make routing decisions and have routing tables or something similar?
I have these questions because my Linux laptop isn't a gateway in the local wifi network, but has a routing table to my surprise. Is it cecause any device in a network has a routing table? My laptop doesn't seem to connect two networks, because the network for all the loopback addresses and the wifi network can't communicate with each other. But its routing table shows a route for communicating with other devices in the same wifi network, and a default route for all other destinations outside the wifi network.