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Gateway in Computer Network

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Prepbytes

In computer networks, we often need to establish communication between networks that are working on different protocols, and addressing schemes and may have different security requirements. To solve this problem, we use the Gateway in Computer Networks. Let us study more about the Gateway in Computer Networks along with its working, types, and features.

What is Gateway in Computer Network?

Gateway in Computer Network can be defined as a connecting node that connects two different networks and allows them to communicate with each other. It serves as a point of entry or exit to a network and operates at the network layer or application layer of the OSI model. A gateway can perform various functions, such as protocol conversion, routing, security, and translation.

Working of Gateway in Computer Network

The working of the Gateway in Computer Network is simple to understand and majorly involves the following steps.

  • Step 1: First, the Gateway receives data from one network.
  • Step 2: After receiving the data, the Gateway in Computer Network analyzes the received data.
  • Step 3: The Gateway then routes the data to the destination network through the most efficient route.
  • Step 4: The Gateway then converts the data as per the requirement of the destination network
  • Step 5: Finally the converted data is sent to the destination network.

In simple words, when one network wants to communicate with another, the data packet is sent to the gateway, which then routes it to the destination through the most efficient path. Also, it converts data from one network so that it can be used by the destination network.

Types of Gateway in Computer Networks

The Gateway in Computer Networks is divided on basis of two parameters as mentioned below in detail.

Types of Gateway in Computer Networks on basis of Functionalities
On the basis of Functionalities, Gateway in Computer Networks is divided into the following categories.

  • Network Gateway
    The most common type of gateway is a network gateway, which serves as an interface between 2 different networks that use different protocols. When the term gateway is used without specifying the type, it means a network gateway.

  • Cloud Storage Gateway
    It is the network node or server that converts storage requests into different cloud storage services API calls, such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) or REST (Representative Api Requests and Responses) (REpresentational State Transfer). This Gateway enables the integration of private cloud storage into applications without the need for the apps to be transferred to any public cloud, thus simplifying the process of data exchange.

  • IoT Gateway
    IoT gateways collect and translate sensor data from IoT (Internet of Things) devices in the field before sending it to the cloud network. They are responsible for connecting IoT devices, cloud networks, and user applications.

  • VoIP Gateway
    The VoIP Gateway facilitates data transmission between traditional telephone devices such as fax machines and landline phones and a VoIP network.

Types of Gateway in Computer Networks on Basis of Direction of Data Flow
The following are the two categories of Gateway in Computer Networks on Basis of Data Flow.

  • Unidirectional Gateways
    They are only capable of transmitting data in one direction. Changes made in the source terminal are replicated to all other destination nodes or applications without being changed. These gateways function as archiving tools.

  • Bidirectional Gateways
    These networking gateways allow for the two-way flow of data. They can perform all tasks synchronously as they duplicate modifications made on the source node to the destination node and vice versa. In short, the bidirectional gateway functions as a synchronization application or tool.

Features of Gateway in Computer Network

Some distinctive features of Gateway in Computer Network are listed below.

  • A gateway is ideally located at the network’s boundary and controls all data inflows and outflows from that network.
  • It acts as a bridge between two networks that use different transmission methods.
  • It operates as a protocol converter, ensuring compatibility between the different protocols used in the two networks.
  • A gateway can function effectively at any layer of the OSI model.
  • It stores information about the routing paths of the communicating networks successfully.
  • Data is sent across networks using packet-switching technology.

Advantages of Gateway in Computer Network

The Advantages of Gateway in Computer Networks are given below.

  • The gateway in Computer Network enables the communication between different networks, allowing them to share resources.
  • A gateway in Computer Network can provide security to a network by filtering out unauthorized traffic and providing secure access to the internet.
  • It also improves network performance by routing data efficiently.

Disadvantages of Gateway in Computer Network

The disadvantages of a gateway in a computer network are:

  • Complexity: The configuration and management of a gateway can be complex.
  • Cost: A hardware gateway can be expensive.

Difference between Router and Gateway in Computer Networks

Although the terms Router and Gateway are used interchangeably in daily life, these two are different from each other. The table given below summarizes the differences between the router and Gateway in Computer Networks.

Gateway Router
Connects two different types of networks Connects two or more networks of the same type
Operates at the application layer or network layer of the OSI model Operates at the network layer of the OSI model
Can perform various functions, such as protocol conversion, routing, security, and translation Mainly used for routing data between networks
May require additional software or hardware to perform its functions Has built-in functionality to route data
Provides access to the internet and external networks Routes data within the same network or between different networks

A gateway is an essential component in computer networks that connects two different networks and performs various functions, such as protocol conversion, routing, security, and translation. We have also discussed the types of Gateway in Computer Networks. A properly configured gateway is crucial for ensuring smooth and secure communication between networks.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions on “Gateway in Computer Network”

Ques 1. Can a gateway in Computer Network connect networks with different protocols?
Ans. Yes, a gateway can connect networks with different protocols.

Ques 2. What is a default gateway in Computer Networks?
Ans. A default gateway is the IP address of the router that a computer uses to send data to a network that is not directly connected to it.

Ques 3. How is a gateway in Computer Network different from a firewall?
Ans. A gateway is a device that connects networks, whereas a firewall is a security device that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic.

Ques 4. Can a computer have multiple gateways?
Ans. A computer can have multiple gateways, but only one can be used as the default gateway.

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