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What Is Gateway, Its Functions, and How It Works on the Network

If you are interested in getting into the technology industry, you certainly need to understand the various types of computer networks, one of which is gateways. Have you ever heard that term before, friend? So, a gateway is a system that connects one network to another.

So important, you will not be able to send data or access the internet without a gateway. For more details, see the full discussion in the following article!

What is a gateway?

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Gateway is a device or network liaison between one computer and another. The gateway device is located in the computer which will later function to connect two networks with different transmission protocols but simultaneously.

Gateways do not only connect one or two computers, but many computers in one large network actually need to use a gateway to be able to connect to each other.

Because it is a device that connects a computer network, a gateway is often confused with a router, but they are two different things.

If the gateway is a device in a computer that functions to connect networks with one another in different protocols. Then the router is hardware that serves to connect between networks.


So that you understand more about what a gateway is, we will give an example. Examples of internet gateway networks and their devices are ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and routers.

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Gateway can be a liaison between one network to another network even though the network has a different architecture and topology pattern. In addition, the gateway can connect large computer networks with large, then also large with small.


Well, one example of an internet gateway device and network is a router and an ISP (internet service provider) that provides access to the entire WWW network.

Difference between gateway, router and switch

In the discussion above we have touched on a little about the gateway with the router. In addition, not infrequently the gateway is also connected to a switch. The differences between the three are as follows.

Router serves to route data packets until the gateway to the node which is the correct destination network. While the switch is a determinant of the actual path of data in and out of the gateway.

The role of the internet gateway is to extend the functionality of the router by performing data transmission and protocol conversion. Just as a router can act as a gateway in a network. By applying the same method, switches, servers, and firewalls can also be used as gateways in different places according to existing needs.

Gateway function

Basically the gateway function is as a protocol conversion. In addition, other functions of the gateway are as follows.

1. Improve computing performance

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Under certain conditions, the gateway function is as a network that can be used to optimize the performance and stability of the company’s computing, by distributing excess computing tasks to other computers on the network system.

Also read What is a Proxy? Definition, Functions, Types and How it Works

2. Hardware sharing

The next function of the gateway is that it can be used to share hardware (hardware sharing). In this case, often on an office network there is a printer that people in the room want to share, so it can be done using a gateway system.

3. Easy access to information

With the success of converting protocols and equating them, the function of the gateway is to make it easier for users to get access to the desired information, because the two computers have been connected and exchange data and information with each other. Without a gateway, two computers with different protocols will not allow the exchange of data.

4. As protocol conversion

Gateway is a link between two computers with different protocols. So that between one computer to another computer can be connected and related so as to allow the exchange of information.

The gateway network itself is capable of operating at every level contained in the OSI (Open System interconnection) network model.

5. Easy data management

The use of gateways for companies and organizations is certainly very important. With the presence of a gateway, it will make it easier for a business or business to integrate and organize important data in which there are various divisions or departments that work separately.

That is why a gateway is needed to connect computers so that each division or department can share data or information for people who have an interest only. Finally, in this case, an admin is required who is obliged to control the security and settings of the data.

Gateway types

Based on the flow direction for data and information, the gateway itself is divided into several types or types, as below.

1. Network gateway

The network gateway type is a very common type because it provides an interface or interface between two different networks that operate using different protocols. If a gateway is specified without specifying its type, it usually refers to a network gateway.

2. IoT gateway

Merging sensor data from IoT Internet of Things ) devices on what is happening in the field and doing translation between two or more protocols before sending it to the cloud network is a type of IoT Gateway. This type of gateway can connect IoT devices, cloud networks, and user-owned applications.

3. Cloud storage gateway

A cloud storage gateway is a network node or server that interprets storage requests with different cloud storage service API calls, including SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (Representational State Transfer).

With a cloud storage gateway, the integration of private cloud storage into the application can be facilitated without the need for application transfer to the public cloud or whatever, so data communication can be simplified.

Also read: Advantages of Cloud Server, Make Website More Optimal

4. VoiP trunk gateway

VoIP trunk gateway is a gateway that has the task of facilitating data exchange between PSTN (public switched telephone network) devices and VoIP (voice over internet protocol) networks.

The VoIP trunk gateway allows PSTN users to connect to a VoIP network without an operator. With the many services offered by this service it allows the reduction of telephone costs so that it becomes the main application.

5. Bidirectional gateway

Bidirectional gateways can allow data to flow in both directions. Bidirectional gateway can also be a synchronization tool.

6. Unidirectional gateway

In contrast to bidirectional gateways, unidirectional gateways allow data to flow in one direction only. Unidirectional gateway is used as a tool for archiving.

How the gateway works

The way the gateway works is very simple, friend! This corresponds to the meaning of the entrance gate to make a connection. Computer networks usually have at least two or more types of gateway interfaces which will later be used as a liaison between the two networks for the data transfer process.

Take for example, you are opening a website. On the website, you will pass through a gateway where there will be directions for the package to reach its destination. Simple, right?

That’s the explanation of the gateway starting from its understanding, function, to how it works. From the above review, of course you will understand more about how important the role of the gateway is in everyday life.

Anyway, apart from the gateway issue, for those of you who are in need of hosting services with the best and most trusted quality, don’t hesitate to trust Hostgator Hosting! If you still have something to ask, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments! See you later!

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Muhamad Nagib
Muhamad Nagib
Information technology writer who has great interest in Windows, MacOS and Linux-based computers as well as Android and iOS smart devices, therefore this website is dedicated to reviewing all information about these operating systems and devices. Learn more.


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