What is Gateway in Computer Network – Types, Examples, Functions

A gateway in the computer network is the node of the network used in telecommunication to connect the two different networks. Here both networks hold different transmission protocols hence we need to use the network node for networking. Generally, the gateway device works as an entry and exiting point of the network from where the network can efficiently process.

If you belong to the IT field or are interested in it, knowing about gateway is the essential term. Hence I have come up with a comprehensive and detailed post on the gateway. This post will cover a gateway in a computer network, its types, functions, how it works, and examples. Thus, read this post carefully to get a detailed analysis of it without making any hard effort.

Gateway in Computer Network

What is Gateway?

Gateway in the computer network is the essential hardware component commonly used to connect the different devices. Both devices have different network transmission protocols, and they take entry or exit from the gateway. Hence you can assume a gateway as the device that works like a gate and helps networks bypass the data from one device to another.

Gateways are capable of being used for LAN and WAN network connections. And they mainly act as a translator for the two devices to transmit the data even if they contain different transmission protocols, architecture, and data formats. These devices can be the firewall, router, server, and other devices used for the networking and allow the flow of the data from one device to another device through their network.

Types of Gateway

Gateway in a computer network has mainly two types as Unidirectional and Bidirectional Gateways. Below there is a brief introduction about both types of gateway.

1. Unidirectional Gateway

This is the type of gateway that allows the data to broadcast in one direction. The data can either send or receive; there is no two-way communication channel. And every change in the direction of the data gets completed in the source terminal. Only there is the path or the destination direction replicated in the node or the applications. The nodes do not impact the direction of data, and it remains the same as it was sent. This type of gateway mainly works as the archive tool.

2. Bidirectional Gateway

Bidirectional gateways are the type of gateway that can execute the two-way flow of the data in both directions. And the data can be sent and received at the same time. Also, every change in the flow and direction takes place in the source application or the node. In short, the bidirectional gateway works as the synchronization application or the tool.

Below are some of the significant examples of gateways that are based on these two types. So, to understand more about the gateway, you should also learn about its some examples.

Examples of Gateway

1. IoT Gateway

This gateway is designed to provide a platform for entry and exiting the data from the IoT devices. And it translates the data between the sensor protocol whenever it needs to send the data to the cloud.

2. Payment Gateway

These gateways are extremely helpful as they allow safe and secure money transfer between the devices.

3. Media Gateway

It allows broadcasting the available data in the form of video or audio among the devices through transmission.

4. Network Gateway

A network gateway is one of the most popular and most used gateways that provide an accurate interface to transmit the data between two different networks having different protocols. Thus, if both the devices are dissimilar and have different protocols, there are high chances that you will be using a network gateway.

5. Default Gateway

These are the gateways that do not specify another gateway being used but allow the external devices and their network to communicate for data transmission.

6. Email Security Gateway

This gateway is used to transmit emails that break an organization’s strategy, or it can transfer the data for any malignant reason.

7. VoIP Trunk Gateway

The VoIP Trunk gateway is still used. They help to connect the old devices and satellites to execute communication efficiently. Generally, these gateways are extremely helpful to transfer data if the device is not connected to the internet.

8. Web Application Firewalls

These applications help push the traffic from or to a web server and monitor the same data.

Functions of Gateway

Now we have understood what gateway is and its types as well. Thus, let’s understand the function of the gateway in the computer network. Generally, gateways are responsible for executing various tasks, and below are a few of them.

  • The gateways play a significant role by becoming the bridge between sensors, internet machines, or devices.
  • The gateways work as the gate for data transmission and allow entry or exit of the data from different networking devices having different protocols. And they can efficiently perform tasks like sending emails, using web pages, and performing many other activities on the internet.
  • With the help of gateways, the battery life of sensors improves, and they can be used for a longer time.
  • The gateways are capable of sending or receiving data from devices that have different protocols. And it also translates the data with the standard protocol and transmits it in the required manner.
  • It also helps minimize the number of sensors and other devices that we can have to connect with the internet to transmit the data.

How Does Gateway Work?

The gateway in the computer network works as the center point from where various network protocol devices can pass the data. If you use an intranet, the router plays a significant role. It allows you to transmit the data to another computer. The hardware that is attached for this is known as the gateway. But in large companies, the same work is done by the large gateways that are the computer servers. And they act like gateway applications; they can also work as the firewalls and any ideal proxy server if it demands.

Then the gateway gets connected with the router whenever a person needs to transmit the data or needs access to it. Then they need to transfer that data through the gateways, where it translates depending upon the receiving device’s protocol.


The gateways are the hardware components that can be routers, servers, or firewalls. And they work like the gate to allow the data to be sent or received by the different protocol-based networks. Here we learned some crucial types and examples of gateways along with their functions. I hope this article will help you feel confident to explain to others about gateways in a computer network.

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