What is the difference between a gateway and a router? This question is often asked by network administrators and IT professionals, as both terms are widely used in network and security domains. In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two devices and how they work.
Firstly, let’s discuss the common features of gateways and routers. Both devices are used to regulate network traffic between two or more separate networks. This process involves attaching at least two network cards into the device and placing the device between the two networks you’re trying to regulate.
A router is a network device that forwards packets from one network to another. When a packet comes in through one port, the router reads the address information on the packet and determines the right destination, then uses routing table or routing policy to direct the packet to the next network or next hop. Routers work at the network layer (layer 3) of the protocol. They are capable of sending and receiving data packets between computer networks, also creating an overlay network. Routers provide additional features like DHCP server, NAT, Static Routing, and Wireless Networking/IPv6 address, Mac address, and Dynamic Routing.
A gateway, on the other hand, joins dissimilar systems. A network gateway converts packets from one protocol to another. The gateway functions as an entry/exit point to the network. Gateway it is defined as a network entity that allows a network to interface with another network with different protocols. The gateway can also allow the network to connect the computer to the internet.
Below is a table that clearly differentiates between both Router and Gateway.
|Terminology||Network device that forwards packets from one network to another. Based on internal routing tables, routers read each incoming packet and decide how to forward it. Routers work at the network layer (layer 3) of the protocol||Device that converts one protocol or format to another. A network gateway converts packets from one protocol to another. The gateway functions as an entry/exit point to the network.|
|Primary Goal||Route traffic from one network to other.||Translate from one protocol to other|
|Feature support||Routers provide additional features like DHCP server, NAT, Static Routing, and Wireless Networking/IPv6 address , Mac address, Dynamic Routing.||Protocol conversion like VoIP to PSTN or Network Access Control etc.|
|Dynamic Routing||Supported||Not supported|
|Hosted on||Dedicated Appliance (Router hardware)||Dedicated/Virtual Appliance or physical Server|
|Related terms||Internet Router, Wireless Router||Proxy server, Gateway Router, Voice Gateway|
|OSI layer||Works on Layer 3 and 4||Works upto Layer 5|
|Working principle||Works by installing routing information for various networks and routes traffic based on destination address||Works by differentiating what is inside network and what is outside network|
Now that we have a clear understanding of the difference between gateways and routers, let’s discuss how Router-switch.com can help you find the right device for your network needs.
At Router-switch.com, we offer a wide range of routers and gateways from top brands such as Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet, and more. Our experienced team of network professionals can help you choose the right device that meets your network requirements. Whether you’re looking for a simple router or a complex gateway, we have the solution for you.
Our products are competitively priced and come with a warranty, ensuring that you get the best value for your investment. Our online store offers easy-to-use features that allow you to filter products based on your needs, such as the number of ports, speed, and features.
To learn more about our products and services, visit Router-switch.com today. And remember, no matter what your networking needs are, we’ve got you covered.
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