Gateway is considered as a networked device that acts as an entry point from one network to other networks.[1] It is the link that connects two computers to the internet. The gateway acts as the portal between two programs and as a means of communication between the protocols which permits them to share data on the same computer devices or among different computer systems. With the help of the gateway, the users will be able to communicate and send data back and forth. The internet will not be of any use without gateways. A gateway also refers to a node in a computer network. A node is just a physical place to where the data stops for transporting, reading or using. Nodes can be:

  • A computer which controls the traffic that the internet service provider or ISP receives.
  • On the internet, the node that is a stopping point can be a gateway or a host node.

If the entire family has access to the internet connection and they have a wireless network in the house, then the gateway is the modem that the ISP provides in order to connect to the network.[1:1]


The gateway is created at the boundary of a network so that it will manage all the data communication which is routed internally or externally from the network. A gateway also possesses information about the host network’s internal paths and the learned path of different remote networks.[1:2] Furthermore, it works as an access route to another network. A gateway is a compulsory feature of all routes even though other devices can also work as a gateway or node.

Generally, a gateway acts as a safeguard to all local networks and connects the local networks to public networks. It gives security, functioning similarly like a firewall, through the use of NAT (Network Address Translation). The gateway gets packets from the local network and alternates its exterior IP address and a new port address into the resource fields of the IP (Internet Protocol) and UDP (User Data Protocol) headers.[1:3]

The following are the different functions of a gateway:

  • It is the best option to achieve multimedia communications between dissimilar networks because every network has different protocol and characteristics.
  • It performs as an interface between local and wide area protocols such as TCP/IP on the internet.
  • It is a key mechanism of any telephony communications offering a bridge between the telephone network and the internet.


Gateways can take several forms and perform several tasks such as the following:

Cloud Storage Gateway

This networking device takes form in either software or hardware which gives connectivity and protocol translation services between a cloud storage service provider and a local customer application. This gateway is also known as a cloud storage controller or cloud storage appliance.

Email Security Gateway

This gateway helps secure and prevent the transmission of emails that will break a company policy, send malware, and transfer data with malicious intent. This prevents data loss, performs email encryption and protects the device from known and unknown malware.

Media Gateway

This is a translational device which is used to convert different types of digital media protocols in order to have an effective multimedia communication. Its main function is to convert several coding and transmission techniques that will enable communication between the networks.

Web Application Firewall

This gateway helps protect the entire web applications through filtering and monitoring the HTTP traffic between the web application and the internet. Typically, this protects web applications from different attacks. This filters and inspects incoming traffic that will be considered as potential threats and contains activities that are malicious.

Amazon API Gateway

This form of gateway publishes, creates, monitors, secures and maintains the REST and the Web Socket APIs at any scale. It handles all the tasks that involve accepting and processing hundreds of thousands of concurrent API calls, traffic management, authorization, and access control.

API, SOA, or XML Gateway

This manages the flow of the traffic into and out of service, micro services-oriented architecture or an XML-based web service.

IoT Gateway

IoT or also known as the Internet of Things, is a gateway which serves as the connection point between the cloud and the controllers, sensors and intelligent devices.

VoIP Trunk Gateway

This is an interface which facilitates the use of plain old telephone service. This gateway connects subscribers to the VoIP network without the involvement of the operators or incurring telephone company toll charges.


In 1970, the researchers from the United States and France tried to explore the possibilities of interconnecting different types of packet networks. The designers of the network wanted to create internetworking devices that could be able to support multiple protocols, provide dynamic packet routing around changing line conditions and make sure that the packets could be routed over links of limited speed. In 1987 and 1988, the internetworking grew and the name "Gateway" and "Router" had gained more clarity. The industry observers brimmed with excitement about the fasting pace of internetworking evolution and the promising markets for bridges, routers, and gateways.

Common Issues

A comparison between a router and a gateway will help clear a common misconception between the 2 terms. Both the gateway and the router are used in order to regulate the network traffic between two or more separate networks. However, gateways regulate traffic between two dissimilar networks, unlike routers that regulate traffic between similar networks. Gateways can be used to reduce network traffic. It is also most often used to make communication possible in dissimilar environments while the routers can be used to segment traffic on corporate networks.[1:4]

Another common concern for the users is when a default gateway is unavailable. To solve this concern, the user needs to follow the steps below:

  1. Remove antivirus programs
  2. Reinstall network adapters driver
  3. Change network adapters driver
  4. Update network adapters driver

If none of these resolved the concern, it is recommended to use a reimage repair tool that can scan the repositories to replace corrupt and missing files.

  1. https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/g/gateway.htm ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎