Gateway (computer networking)

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In computer networking and telecommunications, a gateway is a component that is part of two networks, which use different protocols. The gateway will translate one protocol into the other. A router is a special case of a gateway.

Gateways, also called protocol converters, can operate at any network layer. The activities of a gateway are more complex than that of the router or switch as it communicates using more than one protocol.

Both the computers of internet users and the computers that serve pages to users are host nodes. The nodes that connect the networks in between are gateways. These are are gateway nodes:

  • the computers that control traffic between company networks
  • the computers used by internet service providers (ISPs) to connect users to the internet