Bridge Router


A bridge router, also known as a brouter, is a network device that combines features of both a bridge and a router. It can transmit data between different networks (like a router) as well as within a network (like a bridge). This flexibility allows it to connect and mediate data among different networks based on either MAC addresses or IP addresses.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Bridge Router” is: /’brɪdʒ ‘raʊtər/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Functionality: A Bridge Router has multi-functional capabilities as it possesses the features of both a router and a bridge. As a router, it can connect networks using different protocols and as a bridge, it can connect networks with the same protocol.
  2. Beneficial for Network Expansion: Bridge Routers are particularly beneficial when you are looking to expand a network. They connect different types of networks, allowing for a seamless flow of data. This makes network management more straightforward and boosts the scalability of your network.
  3. Enhanced Security: Bridge Routers improve a network’s security as they limit the broadcast domain. Instead of transferring all packets to all ports, they selectively forward traffic using the device’s Media Access Control (MAC) address. This reduces unnecessary traffic, increasing speed and enhancing security.


A Bridge Router, also known as a brouter, is a significant component in networking due to its ability to function as both a bridge and a router. As a bridge, it can connect networks at the data link layer, allowing for the intercommunication of devices across different segments. As a router, it operates at the network layer and aids in the control of data traffic between networks, ensuring more reliable and efficient data transmission. This dual functionality makes it an extremely versatile tool, capable of both filtering data traffic at network boundaries and providing seamless interconnection between different network technologies. Therefore, understanding the role and importance of a Bridge Router can be paramount when addressing network design and management.


A bridge router, often referred to as a brouter, is a versatile network device that functions as both a bridge and a router. It serves a critical role in determining and managing the most effective way to route packets of data among multiple networks. This is achieved by using both the physical addresses (employed by the bridge functions) and the logical addresses (used by the router functions). Essentially, it combines the best of two worlds–the robust data filtering capabilities of a bridge, and the excellent traffic routing capabilities of a router.Its function could mean a lot of time and resources saved, especially in large networks where data needs to be efficiently routed across multiple segments. For example, within an enterprise setting, where there are typically multiple subnetworks, a bridge router can manage to route the data packets within its LAN using the bridge functionality. On the other hand, to route packets to another network (ex. internet or another enterprise branch), it uses the router functionality. This ensures maximum efficiency in data transmission, optimized bandwidth usage, and significantly improved network performance. The use of bridge routers also enhances network security, as it provides a way to isolate and manage communication between different network segments.


1. Asus RT-AC86U Router: This device is a combined bridge router that allows users to connect multiple networks together and also provides the capability to route data packets across different networks. It features fast and stable dual-band networking, powerful performance, and offers advanced security features.2. TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Router: This is another example of a bridge router that supports both Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connections. It includes options for Network Address Translation (NAT) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) making it suitable both as a router and a bridge for broadband connections.3. Cisco 3725 Multiservice Access Router: This enterprise-level bridge router allows for the interconnection of different networks while being able to perform complex routing functions. Its high-end features and advanced capabilities such as application-specific data routing, service-specific bandwidth provisioning and quality of service (QoS) management make it suitable for businesses or large organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is a Bridge Router?**A: A Bridge Router, often referred to as a brouter, is a network device that serves as both a bridge and a router. It can forward data between networks (acting as a bridge), and also route data to individual systems within a network (acting as a router).**Q: What is the main function of a Bridge Router?**A: The main function of a bridge router is to connect various networks at the same time and also manage data traffic between them. It channels incoming data from any of two input ports to the specific output port that will take the data toward its intended destination.**Q: How does a Bridge Router operate?**A: A Bridge Router operates by reading the MAC addresses of the devices on the network and then comparing that information with a list of addresses in its database to ‘route’ the information to the correct device. **Q: What does it mean when a Bridge Router operates in a ‘mixed mode’?**A: It means a Bridge Router can operate both as a Bridge and a Router simultaneously. It makes decisions about what to do with traffic at the network layer, and can use MAC addresses in a flat network or IP addresses in a routed network.**Q: What are the advantages of using a Bridge Router?**A: The major advantages of using a Bridge Router are improving the efficiency and manageability of a network by dividing it into different segments. It also extends the coverage of a network by functioning as both a bridge and a router. **Q: Can a Bridge Router work with both wired and wireless networks?**A: Yes, a Bridge Router can be configured to work with both wired and wireless networks, enhancing the interconnectivity and flexibility of your network setup.**Q: Are there any limitations to using a Bridge Router?**A: While a Bridge Router does have many advantages, limitations do exist. These include the complexity of setup and configuration, as well as a requirement for additional processing power due to its dual functions. **Q: Is a Bridge Router different from a standard Router?**A: Yes, while a standard router can route packets across networks, a Bridge Router has the added capability of bridging networks together, thus creating a much larger network.

Related Technology Terms

  • Network Bridge
  • Routing Protocol
  • Gateway
  • Wireless Bridge
  • Packet Switching

Sources for More Information


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