Stands for "Open Shortest Path First." OSPF is a method of finding the shortest path from one router to another in a local area network (LAN). As long as a network is IP-based, the OSPF algorithm will calculate the most efficient way for data to be transmitted.
If there are several routers on a network, OSPF builds a table (or topography) of the router connections. When data is sent from one location to another, the OSPF algorithm compares the available options and chooses the most efficient way for the data to be sent. This limits unnecessary delays in data transmission and prevents infinite loops.
This page contains a technical definition of OSPF. It explains in computing terminology what OSPF means and is one of many Internet terms in the TechTerms dictionary.
All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this OSPF definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!
Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.