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I know this may be stupid but is there any difference between a gateway and a router ?

Cisco Employee

Re: routers

Hello carl_townshend,

No question is stupid.

In most instances - yeah a gateway and router are one in the same.

However, gateway can mean other things given the context.

Here are some other meanings of gateway -

(1) A computer that performs protocol conversion between different types of networks or applications. For example, a gateway can convert a TCP/IP packet to a NetWare IPX packet and vice versa or from AppleTalk to DECnet, from SNA to AppleTalk and so on.

Gateways function at layer 4 and above in the OSI model. They perform complete conversions from one protocol to another rather than simply support one protocol from within another, such as IP tunneling. Sometimes routers can implement gateway functions.

An electronic mail, or messaging, gateway converts messages between two different messaging protocols. See LAN and IP gateway.

(2) A computer that acts as a go-between two or more networks that use the same protocols. In this case, the gateway functions as an entry/exit point to the network. Transport protocol conversion may not be required, but some form of processing is typically performed.

(3) An earlier name for router.

In the network for an enterprise, a computer server acting as a gateway node is often also acting as a proxy server and a firewall server. A gateway is often associated with both a router, which knows where to direct a given packet of data that arrives at the gateway, and a switch, which furnishes the actual path in and out of the gateway for a given packet.

Hope this helps! If so, please rate.


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