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HSRP vs VRRP | First-hop redundancy protocols

HSRP and VRRP both protocols provide redundancy and high availability in computer networks. Both HSRP and VRRP create a virtual gateway and prevent a single point of failure. The functionality of both protocols is almost similar.


In this tutorial, we will discuss the differences between HSRP and VRRP. Let’s get started!

What is HSRP?

HSRP (Hot Standby Routing Protocol) is a Cisco Prioperitry protocol that provides redundancy in computer networks. It creates a virtual gateway with a Virtual IP & MAC address. Hello packets ensure the availability of Active and Standby routers. Active Router actively forwards the network traffic. Both Active and Passive routers exchange the Hello Packets with each other.

HSRP comes in two different versions and offers a different number of groups. However, the functionality is almost similar.

What is VRRP?

VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol) is an open-source protocol defined in rfc3768. Like HSRP, it provides redundancy and high availability in computer networks. It also uses Virtual IP and MAC addresses. After configuring VRRP, it goes through several stages and elects one Master router, and all other routers will be backup routers. The Master router is responsible for forwarding the network traffic. If the master fails, the backup router will take over and start forwarding the network traffic.


The main difference between HSRP and VRRP is that the HSRP is a Cisco priority protocol that supports only Cisco devices. On the other hand, VRRP is an open-standard protocol that can be configured on Cisco and non-Cisco devices. Apart from this, the Multicast and MAC addresses differ in both of these protocols.

Below are the main differences between HSRP and VRRP:



Full Form

Hot Standby Routing Protocol

Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol


Cisco proprietary

Open Source, defined in RFC 3768.

Multicast address# and

Virtual MAC Address*

0000.0c07.acXX and 0000.0c9f.fXXX


Default Timers

Hello - 3 seconds

Hold - 10 seconds

Hello - 1 seconds

Hold - 3 seconds


Plain Text and MD5

Plain Text

Virtual IP

Different from physical interface IP

Can different or same physical interface IP

Router Termlogy

Active and Standby

Master and Backup


Support Interface and Object tracking

Support only Object tracking


Disabled by default

Enabled by default

*: HSRP version 1 uses, and version 2 uses #: XX, XXX is the group number of HSRP and VRRP.

Further Reading


HSRP and VRRP both protocols provide redundancy and High Availability in computer networks. HSRP is a Cisco Proprietary, and VRRP is an open-standard protocol. Both create a virtual router and avoid a single point of failure in computer networks.

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