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What Is A Brouter?

What Is A Brouter

Date First Published: 12th June 2022

Topic: Computer Networking

Subtopic: Network Hardware

Article Type: Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Advanced

Difficulty Level: 8/10

Learn more about what a brouter is in this article.

A brouter, also known as a bridging router, is a piece of networking hardware that works as both a bridge and a router by routing data to node in a network and connecting two separate networks together. Brouters combine the functionality of routers and bridges by routing data from a LAN to another network and forwarding all other data packets in the same way as a bridge would.

For routable protocols, brouters work at the network layer of the OSI model. For non-routable protocols, brouters operate at the data link layer. Brouters use a mix of both routable and non-routable protocols to act as a router and a bridge. They act as routers for routable protocols and bridges for non-routable protocols.

Note: Info Icon

The term 'brouter' can be used to describe an actual bridge/router device. However, actual brouters are quite rare. Most brouters are routers that have the functionality to also act as a bridge, which can be configured on the router configuration page.

Due to the higher complexity of routers, it is much more likely for a router than a bridge to function as a brouter. Routers are more complex as they are capable of routing data packets to a destination, whilst bridges can only connect two separate networks together and act as a 'bridge' between them.


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