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What is a gateway?

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Tasks: This is what a gateway does
Examples: These gateways exist

Wondering what a gateway is? We explain what this term is all about here..

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Image: <span> Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com </span>

Gateways appear in error messages in the browser as well as in smart homes. In both cases it is about the connection of different systems. In this article you will find out what exactly a gateway is and what its role is.

Tasks: This is what a gateway does

Gateway is English and means something like driveway or portal. In computer science, a gateway describes an interface between two systems, for example networks, computers or within software. The two systems would not be compatible with each other without the gateway, for example because they use different protocols or data formats for communication or do not have the same transmission speed.

The gateway mediates between the systems and thus enables data to be transferred between them. It translates the information from one system so that the other can understand and process it. There are gateways for all types of network protocols. Such protocols are, for example, the Internet Protocol (IP) or the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

Examples: These gateways exist

A VPN gateway, for example, connects different network types, mostly a local and a public network. Other gateways convert incoming faxes into digital documents and send them via email (and vice versa). You will find another gateway in the smart home. There it regulates radio communication, for example between your smartphone as a control device and your smart lighting system.

Your router works much like a gateway at home. This not only connects the devices within your home network to the Internet, but often also takes on telephone functions. However, it only forwards information and does not convert it. Nevertheless, the router is also called the "default gateway"..


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