Gateway Server

In the simplest terms, a gateway server is a hardware device that acts as a gate between two networks. It is a node in a computer network or a key stopping point for data on its way to and from other networks. It acts as a middleman, brokering transactions between a client computer and another computer.

What Are Gateway Servers used for?
Through gateway servers, people can communicate over a network and send data back and forth across the Internet and the Internet won’t be of much use without them.
As such, for networks to communicate a gateway must be provided from each network. This gateway then defines what is internal to the network and what is external to the network. When a computer needs to communicate with a server outside the network, the gateway server must be set up in that way.

For example, if a user has a wireless network at home that gives his entire family access to the Internet, his modem or router will be the gateway that allows him to connect to the Internet. Likewise, on the other end, the computer that controls all the data that flows to the Internet Service Provider is itself a gateway. Likewise, an email server would be a gateway that determines what data comes in and what data goes out, which could affect email delivery.

For example, if a user has a wireless network at home that gives his entire family access to the Internet, his modem or router will be the gateway that allows him to connect to the Internet. Likewise, on the other end, the computer that controls all the data that flows to the Internet Service Provider is itself a gateway. Likewise, an email server would be a gateway that determines what data comes in and what data goes out, which could affect email delivery.

What is the difference between a Proxy Server and a Gateway Server?
Because a gateway defines what is internal and what is external to a network, a computer will not be able to get out or gain access to an external network without one.

In contrast, a proxy server represents the network from the outside. This means that any computer trying to gain access to any other computer inside a network with a proxy will only see the IP address of the proxy and not the IP address of the node on the network.

It, therefore, acts as a barrier to hide a network by configuring the Internet options of the computers on the network to first point to the proxy server before going out to the Internet. It, therefore, keeps computers inside the network anonymous. In this way, it acts in much of the same way as a gateway but also protects the network from outside threats.

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