What is a network edge router?

A network edge router is a device located at the network edge, providing an entry point between two networks. An edge router safeguards the connectivity of the internal network (WAN) with external networks (e.g. the public Internet). A network edge router uses an external border gateway protocol (BGP) to facilitate data transmission between two networks.

Subscriber edge router and the label edge router

There are two main types of edge routers – a subscriber edge router and a label edge.

Subscriber edge router - is used at the edge of a subscriber’s network. It is most commonly deployed within an enterprise organization, and can function as an external Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) router that connects one autonomous system (AS) to another AS. This includes connecting an enterprise network to the network edge of its Internet service provider (ISP).

Label edge router - can be used at the edge of a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network, as a gateway between a local network and the WAN, and also the public Internet. It assigns labels to outbound data transmissions. A label edge router is used primarily within large-scale networks, coupled with an MPLS transport.

Network edge router security consideration

Security is a huge challenge for today’s enterprise IT teams. Since network edge routers serve as a connection point between internal and external networks, security must be a top priority. Network edge routers can be configured with security tools, such as access control lists, or built-in support for firewalls.