Gateway vs Router : Know the Difference 2024

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,BUZZ,Routing & Switching

Gateway vs Router –

Gateway and Router are 2 terms widely used in Network and Security domains. Both terminologies have a thin line of differentiation, with some of the functionalities overlapping, rather many times a single device (maybe Router) performs the functionality of both a Router and Gateway.

Router –

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.


Related – Layer 3 Switch vs Router 

A router is a device that is capable of sending and receiving data packets between computer networks, also creating an overlay network.

Gateway –

Gateway, on the other hand, joins dissimilar systems. Gateway is defined as a network entity that allows a network to interface with another network with different protocols.

Gateways act as a network point that acts as an entrance to another network. The gateway can also allow the network to connect the computer to the internet.

Related – Default Gateway Configuration 

Difference between Router and Gateway –

Here’s a detailed comparison of gateway vs router –

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
Protocol conversion like VoIP to PSTN or Network Access Control etc.
Dynamic Routing
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

Download this Gateway vs Router difference table here.






Hope you would have understood Gateway vs Router from above table. Read some of our other related articles –

ACL vs Firewall

Networking Scenario Based Interview Questions



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