Gateway (telecommunications)

A gateway is a piece of networking hardware used in telecommunications for communications networks that allows data to flow from one discrete network to another. Gateways are distinct from routers or switches in that they communicate using more than one protocol and can operate at any of the 7 layers of the OSI model.

The term gateway can also loosely refer to a computer or computer program configured to perform the tasks of a gateway, such as a default gateway.

Network gateway

A network gateway may contain devices such as protocol translators, impedance matching devices, rate converters, fault isolators or signal translators as necessary to provide system interoperability. It also requires the establishment of mutually acceptable administrative procedures between both networks. It can also work as a protocol translation/mapping gateway interconnecting networks with different network protocol technologies by performing the required protocol conversions. Both the computers of Internet users and the computers that serve pages to users are host nodes, while the nodes that connect the networks in between are gateways. For example, the computers that control traffic between company networks or the computers used by internet service providers (ISPs) to connect users to the internet are gateway nodes.

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.

IPv4 gateway

On an Internet Protocol (IP) network, clients automatically send IP packets with a destination outside a given subnet mask as defined by a combination of network address and subnet mask to a network gateway. For example, if a private network has a base IP address of and has a subnet mask of, then any data going to an IP address outside of 192.168.0.X will be sent to that network's gateway. While forwarding an IP packet to another network, the gateway might or might not perform Network Address Translation.

A gateway is an essential feature of most routers, although other devices (such as any PC or server) can function as a gateway.

Most computer operating systems make use of the terms described above. Microsoft Windows, however, describes this standard networking feature as Internet Connection Sharing, which acts as a gateway, offering a connection between the Internet and an internal network.

It is worth noting that network addresses in the form "" represent only the IPv4 version of the IP protocol, and that the format is different in an IPv6 address.[1]

Internet-to-orbit gateway

An Internet-to-orbit gateway (I2O) is a machine that acts as a connector between computers or devices connected to the Internet and computer systems orbiting Earth, such as satellites or manned spacecraft. Such a connection is made when the I2O establishes a stable link between a spacecraft and a computer (or a network of computers) on the Internet, such links can be for control signals, audio frequency or visible spectrum signals.

Project HERMES is the first project to have brought this kind of machine into operation. The HERMES-A/MINOTAUR Space Flight Control Center[2] became operative on June 6, 2009, and was operated by representatives of 34 countries on the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Symposium of Small Satellites for Sustainable Development[3] in Graz, Austria on September 10, 2009. Project HERMES is an initiative of the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency and has a maximum coverage of 22,000 km. HERMES-A is supposed to be the first gateway of a network of five covering all of South America. HERMES-A/MINOTAUR can transmit voice as well as data.

The Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations (GENSO), another I2O, is an initiative from NASA and ESA.

Cloud gateway

A cloud storage gateway is a network appliance or server which resides at the customer premises and translates cloud storage APIs such as SOAP or REST to block-based storage protocols such as iSCSI or Fibre Channel or file-based interfaces such as NFS or CIFS.[4][5] Cloud storage gateways enable companies to integrate private cloud storage into applications without moving the applications into a public cloud,[6] thereby simplifying data protection.[6]

IoT gateway

An internet of things (IoT) gateway provides the means to bridge the gap between devices in the field (factory floor, home, etc.); the cloud, where data is collected, stored and manipulated by enterprise applications; and the user equipment (smartphones, tablets etc.). The IoT gateway provides a communication link between the field and the cloud and can also offer local processing and storage capabilities to provide offline services and if required real-time control over the devices in the field.[7][8]

To achieve sustainable interoperability in the Internet of Things ecosystem today[9][10], there are two dominant architectures for data exchange protocols: bus-based (DDS, REST, XMPP) and broker based (AMPQ, CoAP, MQTT, JMI). The protocols that support the information exchange between interoperability domains can also be classified as message-centric (AMQP, MQTT, JMS, REST) or data-centric (DDS, CoAP, XMPP).[11][12] To use the full potential of IoT, the interconnected devices communicate by using lightweight protocols that don’t require extensive CPU resources. C, Java, Python and some scripting languages are the preferred choices used by IoT applications. To handle any needed protocol conversion, database storage or decision making (e.g. collision handling), IoT nodes use separate IoT gateways in order to supplement the low-intelligence within the IoT node and nodes.

A large number of manufacturers are involved in the IoT Gateways design and production as can be seen, for example, at the relevant Intel IoT Solutions Alliance site.[13] Such companies include CISCO,[14] Harman International Industries,[15] Advantech,[16] ADLINK,[17] Supermicro,[18] NXP and others.

An example of an advanced IoT gateway product is the MYNXG Gateway created by MyOmega[19] as the core element for the secure Internet of Things (IoT).

See also



  1. "Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6". August 4, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2018. Dotted-Decimal Notation of IPv4 [...] Hexadecimal Colon Notation of IPv6 FDEC:BA98:7654:3210:ADBF:BBFF:2922:FFFF
  4. Orenstein, Gary (June 22, 2010). "GigaOm, Show Me the Gateway — Taking Storage to the Cloud".
  5. Boles, Jeff (15 March 2011). "Cloud file storage pros and cons".
  6. 1 2 Slack, Eric (June 14, 2011). "Hybrid Cloud Appliances Simplify Data Storage Infrastructure".
  7. Marvell Unveils Andromeda Box IoT Platform Made for Brillo Retrieved 13 Nov.2015
  8. Amazon Web Services Announces AWS IoT. Retrieved 13 Nov.2015
  9. "Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative". ITU. Retrieved 13 Nov.2015.
  10. Arshdeep Bahga, Vijay Madisetti. "Internet of Things (A Hands-on-Approach)". VPT; 1 edition (August 9, 2014)
  11. Stan Schneider. "What's the Difference between Message Centric and Data-Centric Middleware?". Electronic Design. Jul 6, 2012
  12. Bryon Moyer. "All About Messaging Protocols What Are the Differences?". EE JOURNAL. April 20, 2015
  13. "Solutions Directory - Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance".
  14. "Internet of Things (IoT)". Cisco. 22 March 2016.
  15. "Internet of Things (IoT)". Harman. 22 March 2016.,
  16. "Embedded IoT Gateway".
  17. "IoT Gateway".
  18. "Internet of Things Gateway Solutions - SuperServer - Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc".
  19. "MyOmega System Technologies - MYNXG IoT platform - Internet of Things".
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