A gateway is a hardware device that acts as a “gate” between two networks It may be a router, firewall, server, or other device that enables traffic to flow in and out of the network.
A gateway is also a piece of networking hardware used in telecommunications for telecommunications networks that allows data to flow from one discrete network to another.
Network gateways are used to interconnect networks, including those with different communications protocols. They serve as the point of entry to a network and operate at various network layers. Gateway servers are hardware devices and gateway nodes are associated with routers and switches.
The way a gateway works depends upon its type. For example, gateway servers are often equipped with multiple network interface cards (NICs)one for incoming traffic and one for outgoing communications. At the enterprise level, gateway nodes may be routers that use headers and forwarding tables to determine where data packets are sent. The other part of these gateways, the network switch, determines the path that the packet follows.
This diagram depicts a gateway server used by four networked computers. In this example, the gateway server also functions as a firewall.
While a gateway protects the nodes within network, it also a node itself. The gateway node is considered to be on the “edge” of the network as all data must flow through it before coming in or going out of the network. It may also translate data received from outside networks into a format or protocol recognized by devices within the internal network.
Types of Network Gateways
- Default gateways are computers used to access external networks when another gateway is not specified.
- Media gateways are used with audio and video transmissions.
- Payment gateways are secure computers that receive and then accept or decline on-line payments.
- VoIP gateways are used with voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) communications such as phone calls made from PCs.
What is the difference between a router and a gateway?
Gateways regulate traffic between two dissimilar networks, while routers regulate traffic between similar networks. … Because TCP/IP is also the primary protocol of the Internet, you could use a router to connect your network to the Internet
BENEFITS OF NETWORK GATEWAYS
Following are the advantages of using a Gateway:
- It can connect the devices of two different networks having dissimilar structures.
- It is an intelligent device with filtering capabilities.
- It has control over both collisions as well as a broadcast domain.
- It uses a full-duplex mode of communication
. Connectivity As mentioned earlier, the main benefit of gateway is the connectivity it provides. A gateway can expand the network by connecting computers with different systems together. Through this, same kind of information will be able to be accessed by different computers
. 2. Security Gateways are known to posses improved security since they allow user authentication. Forms of security such as User ID and Password can be imposed on gateway so that all the unwanted access will be prevented. This not only protects sensitive information, it also ensures that only the authorized users have access to the informations.
3. Filtering Process Filtering process is another important capability of a gateway. Without them, whatever the services that arrives at the gateway carries the risk of theft. Therefore, gateway performs the filtering process by inspecting each data packet that passed through the gateway.
4. Domain Control When the number of Collision and Broadcast domain increases, the network provider can assure that they will be able to provide better bandwidth. A networking gateway has the capability to control collision as well as broadcast domain.
5. Protocol Conversion Besides filtering, a gateway can also convert data packets according to the destination needs. If the destination network or architecture has different needs, it can also convert the data format accordingly. That is the reason why it is also called as the Protocol Converter.
Disadvantages of network Gateway
1. Implementation Generally gateways on default are installed on the routers itself. This makes it more difficult for the network administrators to install or configure them. Apart from this the cost involved in the implementation process is too high.
2. Configuration Configuration of devices through a gateway is made even more difficult or impossible. There must be special system administration for this purpose.
3. Time Delay Gateway networks always causes time delay since information must be translated. There is no way can a instant transfer take place. In addition to that, a gateway must also return old cache information that is not cleared properly. This can take more time resulting in time constraints
. 4. Connection Failure If there are possibilities of failure occurring at the gateway, it can lead to communication loss. Devices on the opposite side will no longer be able to communicate until the problem is resolved
. 5. Troubleshooting Computers on a network are with different protocols. Therefore, if there is any problem, each of these computers needed to be troubleshooted individually. This makes the process more complicated since different tools must be present.
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