Customer Edge Router

Definition of Customer Edge Router

A Customer Edge Router, often abbreviated as CE router, is a networking device that resides at the edge of a client’s network and connects it to an external network, typically an internet service provider (ISP) or a wide area network (WAN). It serves as the point where the customer’s network traffic enters or exits the external network, enabling communication between the two networks. The CE router performs routing functions, firewall protection, and traffic management to ensure efficient and secure data transmission.


The phonetics of the keyword “Customer Edge Router” are:- Customer: K-UH-S-T-OH-M-ER – Edge: EH-J- Router: R-OW-T-ER

Key Takeaways

  1. Customer Edge Routers are used to connect an organization’s internal network to an external service provider’s network, forming the boundary between the two, and allowing for efficient communication with the internet.
  2. These routers provide enhanced security by performing functions such as access control and traffic filtering, effectively preventing unauthorized access to the organization’s internal network and safeguarding resources from external threats.
  3. Customer Edge Routers can support various routing protocols and network services, which help organizations to manage network reliability, performance, and redundancy, thereby ensuring optimal connectivity and quality of service for their end users.

Importance of Customer Edge Router

The technology term, Customer Edge Router, is important because it serves as a crucial networking device responsible for connecting a subscriber’s internal network to an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) Wide Area Network (WAN). By managing traffic between these networks, the router significantly enhances the efficiency, security, and performance of data transmissions.

As part of the larger network architecture, Customer Edge Routers play a pivotal role in enabling seamless internet services, allowing users to access resources, communicate and perform everyday tasks online.

These devices also support advanced features such as Quality of Service (QoS) management, Virtual Private Network (VPN) configurations, and firewall capabilities, further ensuring smooth user experience and secure data exchange.


A customer edge router, commonly abbreviated as CE router, plays a pivotal role within a network by serving as the gateway for customer networks when connecting to the wider internet or external networks through their respective Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the realm of Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) systems, CE routers stand as a crucial component, providing a seamless way to manage and route traffic between a customer’s premises and a service provider’s core network. As a result, the CE router aids in streamlining and securing data transmission while ensuring the optimal utilization of bandwidth and network efficiency.

The main purpose of a CE router is to facilitate smooth and reliable data transmissions by performing complex routing operations at the edge of the customer’s network. It is equipped with the ability to store routing information specific to the customer’s MPLS network, along with coordinating with the Provider Edge (PE) routers of the ISPs.

The CE router communicates with the PE router using routing protocols like BGP or OSPF to build a cohesive, routable environment. This strategic collaboration between the CE and PE routers ensures that network performance remains optimal while accommodating the growing demand for more comprehensive, flexible, and secure communication within geographically diverse networks.

Examples of Customer Edge Router

Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR): The Cisco 4000 Series ISR is a popular customer edge router used by businesses of various sizes for their networking needs. These routers provide high-level performance, versatility, and security while offering exceptional scalability and a range of service options, making them an ideal choice for connecting a company’s network to the internet or external network connections.

Juniper Networks MX Series Universal Routing Platform: Juniper Networks’ MX Series routers are specifically designed for the customer edge. These routers deliver advanced capabilities like SD-WAN, network automation, and universal application support, making them a sought-after choice for service providers and enterprises alike. The MX Series routers can handle a range of routing applications, from small branch offices to large-scale internet service providers, all while ensuring network reliability and security.

Ubiquiti Networks EdgeRouter: Ubiquiti Networks offers a line of customer edge routers under the brand name EdgeRouter. These routers are designed for medium-sized businesses and home networks and are known for their affordability and ease of use. EdgeRouters come with various features like configurable network interfaces, powerful QoS control, and advanced routing technology such as IPv6 and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS).

Customer Edge Router FAQ

What is a customer edge router?

A customer edge router, also known as a CE router, is a type of communication device that serves as the interface between a customer’s network and an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) network. It is responsible for routing data packets between the customer’s devices and the ISP’s core network.

Why do we need a customer edge router?

A customer edge router is essential for managing traffic between a customer’s local network and the ISP’s network. It provides features such as traffic control, QoS (Quality of Service) management, security, and more. This router helps ensure that data packets travel efficiently and securely between the customer’s devices and the broader internet.

What is the difference between a customer edge router and a customer premises router?

A customer edge router is specifically designed to connect a customer’s network to an ISP’s network, while a customer premises router is a more general term that refers to any router located at the customer’s site, regardless of its function. A customer premises router may serve as a customer edge router, depending on its configuration and role within the network.

How do I configure a customer edge router?

Configuring a customer edge router can vary depending on the specific router model and the ISP’s requirements. Generally, it involves setting up the IP addresses, routing protocols, access control lists (ACLs), and other security features. It is recommended to consult the router’s documentation or speak with your ISP about their specific requirements for CE router configuration.

What types of customer edge routers are available?

There are various types of customer edge routers available in the market, ranging from small home-office routers to more advanced and powerful routers for large enterprises. These routers vary in terms of hardware capabilities, features, and supported protocols. Some common CE router brands include Cisco, Juniper, Mikrotik, and Ubiquiti, among others.

Related Technology Terms

  • Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
  • Wide Area Network (WAN)
  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Network Address Translation (NAT)

Sources for More Information


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