A brouter is a device that functions as both a bridge and a router. It can forward data between networks (serving as a bridge), but can also route data to individual systems within a network (serving as a router).

The main purpose of a bridge is to connect two separate networks. It simply forwards the incoming packets from one network to the next. A router, on the other hand, is more advanced since it can route packets to specific systems connected to the router. A brouter combines these two functions by routing some incoming data to the correct systems, while forwarding other data to another network. In other words, a brouter functions as a filter that lets some data into the local network, while redirecting unrecognized data to another network.

While the term "brouter" is used to describe bridge/router device, actual brouters are pretty rare. Instead, most brouters are simply routers that have been configured to also function as a bridge. This functionality can often be implemented using the router's software interface. For example, you may configure a router to only accept data from specific protocols and data sources, while forwarding other data to another network.

NOTE: Since routers are more complex than bridges, it is more likely for router than a bridge to function as a brouter. Therefore, brouters are also called bridging routers.

Updated April 19, 2013 by Per C.

Definitions by

The definition of Brouter on this page is an original definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Brouter definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.