Difference Between Gateway and Router


Cisco ISR4461/K9 Enterprise Modular Routers ISR4000 Series Routers

Essential difference

A gateway is a device that is mainly used to connect two different networks. At the same time, the gateway can also communicate with the hosts on both sides at the same time. However, the hosts on both sides cannot communicate directly, they must go through the gateway to communicate. The work of the gateway is in the application layer. A router is a device at the network layer, and usually sends data in packets. The sub-interface of the router has the function of dividing the broadcast domain, so after using the switch as a VLAN, it is necessary to implement a layer 3 route on the router.


The difference in usage

The gateway can be a router, a switch or a PC. Communication within the same network segment does not require the gateway to intervene. Only when the host communicates with a device other than the network segment, it is necessary to send all the data packets to the gateway device, and then forward or pass through the gateway device. There is routing handling etc. A router is a network layer system. Routers are generally divided into two categories in the market today, one is single-protocol routers, and the other is multi-protocol routers. A router can convert data formats and become a necessary device for network interconnection between different protocols.


Functional difference

Gateways can be divided into transmission-type gateways and application-type gateways. The function is to act as a conversion task. In essence, it is the IP address of a network leading to other networks. The functions of the router mainly include: connecting different networks and information transmission. According to the use, it can be divided into: access, enterprise level, backbone level, terabit, multi-WAN and 3G wireless, etc.



The network is also called the gateway and the protocol converter. The gateway implements network interconnection above the network layer and is the most complex network interconnection device, which is only used for the interconnection of two networks with different high-level protocols. Gateways can be used for both WAN interconnection and LAN interconnection.

A gateway is a computer system or device that acts as a switch. Used between two systems with different communication protocols, data formats or languages, or even completely different architectures, a gateway is a translator. Unlike bridges, which simply convey information, gateways repackage received information to suit the needs of the destination system. Same layer-application layer.



A router is a device connected to various LANs and WANs in the Internet. It will automatically select and set routes according to the channel conditions, and send signals in the order of the best path. Routers have been widely used in all walks of life, and various products of different grades have become the main force to realize the internal connection of various backbone networks, the interconnection between backbone networks, and the interconnection between backbone networks and the Internet. Mainly divided into local routers and remote routers. It is of great significance for domestic network technology research, network construction, and clarification of various specious concepts about routers and network interconnections in the network market.

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