Types of gateways and their working

How gateways work?

For someone who’s unaccustomed to networking, the variations between gateways and routers will usually be confusing. In this article, I’ll try to shed some light on these differences. Before you’ll see the differences between routers and gateways, it’s necessary to know what they need in common. Each device is accustomed to regulate network traffic between 2 or additional separate networks.

The difference between these two devices is that Gateways are used to regulate traffic between two dissimilar networks (having different protocol), whereas routers are used to regulate traffic between similar networks having similar protocols.

Gateway firewall
Harald Mühlböck / CC BY-SA

Definition of GATEWAY:

So, Gateway can be defined as

“ It acts as a node of different interconnected networks, having different communication protocols.”

Network gateways are accustomed to interconnect networks, as well as those with completely different communications protocols. Network gateways perform the purpose of entry to a network and operate at varied network layers. Entrance servers are hardware devices and entrance nodes are related to routers and switches.

Illustration with an example:

The easiest method to illustrate this concept is through associate example. Suppose you have got a Windows 2000 network that’s victimization TCP/IP as its primary protocol. TCP/IP is additionally the primary protocol of the internet also, you may use a router to attach your network to the net. But if you want to connect window 2000 to another protocol, you would certainly need Gateway. Gateways are used to connect dissimilar networks.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels


A gateway may be a network node utilized in telecommunications that connects 2 networks with totally different transmission protocols along. Gateways are used as entry and exit purposes for a network as all information should communicate with the gateway before being routed. In most IP-based networks, the sole traffic that doesn’t pass through at least one gateway is traffic flowing between nodes on the same local area network (LAN) section.

How Gateways Work:

All networks have a borderline that restricts communication to devices that directly connected. Thanks to this, if a network needs to communicate with devices, nodes, or networks outside of that borderline, they need a gateway. A gateway is commonly characterized as being the combination of a modem and a router.

Home gateway example
Norrellstrange / CC BY-SA

The gateway is enforced at the edge of a network and manages all data that are directed internally or externally from that network. Once one network needs to speak with another, the data packet is passed to the gateway so routed to the destination through the foremost economical path. Additionally to routing data, a gateway also will store info regarding the host network’s internal ways and also the ways of any further networks that it encountered.

Gateways are primarily protocol converters, facilitating compatibility between 2 networking protocols and operational on any layer of the open systems interconnection (OSI) model.


There are two types of gateways

  • Unidirectional gateways
  • Bidirectional gateways


Unidirectional means moving in one direction. Unidirectional gateways enable alerts to flow in exactly one direction. Changes created within the source Server are replicated within the destination Server or application, however changes created within the destination Server don’t seem to be replicated within the source Server. Unidirectional gateways are thought of as archiving tools.


Bidirectional gateways permit alerts to flow from the Source Server to the Destination Server and conjointly permit feedback to the source Server. During a bidirectional gateway configuration, changes created to the contents of a source Server are duplicated in a target Server, and therefore the destination Server duplicates its alerts within the source Server. Bidirectional gateways may be thought of as synchronization tools.


The following are the advantages of using the gateway

  • These can connect dissimilar networks
  • These are intelligent having filtering capabilities
  • It uses a duplex communication mode
  • Among all network connecting devices, these are the fastest
  • It has better security than other network connecting devices
  • It performs protocol conversion
1905 home network - multi devices graphic
GreenFog at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 


  • It has a complex design
  • It’s capital or implementation cost is higher
  • It demands a Special system administration configuration
Photo by panumas nikhomkhai from Pexels

Default gateway:

Any device can have one or more gateways to communicate with other networks having different. Sometimes, a single node (gateway) can communicate with all other networks. Sometimes, more than 1 node is required to communicate with other devices. Any device has default one gateway.

Why gateways are important:

The Internet has become an essential part of our lives. The Internet is a wide area network (WAN) that can implement different protocols and can have various infrastructures such as LAN (Local area networks). When we need to communicate with different LAN and internet protocols, we definitely need Gateways. Gateways are highly configurable network connecting devices, that operates in all layers of openly connected interconnection (OSI) model as shown below:

Investment in gateways

Performance specification of Gateway:

When deciding the performance of the gateway, there are several factors to analyze which are

  • Number of ports
  • Type of ports
  • Total number of users
  • Maximum data rate

Gateway Market share:

According to Statista, this technique of interconnecting dissimilar network protocols is very charming and its market share is increasing every year. According to Statista, the Total investment made on gateway nodes in 2018 was $804 million which by the end of 2022 is expected to be $1900 million.

What do you think?

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