Any network device having the capabilities of both a bridge and a router. Usually, a brouter will act as a router for one protocol (for example, TCP/IP) and a bridge for all other protocols (for example, IPX/SPX). Brouters are not common in networks.
Network services often send their announcements over every protocol on the network, which generates additional traffic and makes it generally disadvantageous to run more than one protocol on a single network.
The solution adopted by most implementers today is to use a single protocol for all network communication on the main portion of the network, with gateways connecting to segments running other protocols.
The protocol of choice for most internetworking today is TCP/IP.