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Gateway (telecommunications)

The gateway (telecommunications) is essentially a network point which behaves like the entrance to a separate network. In Internet parlance, the gateway (telecommunications) node may be a stopping point or a host node. The computers belonging to Internet users and computers which provide web pages to end-users are basically host nodes. However, computers which are responsible for controlling traffic in a company network or local ISP are gateway nodes. Gateways comprise of impedance matching devices, protocol translators, fault isolators, rate converters and signal translators for system inter-operability. There must be mutually acceptable administrative processes between the two networks.

The main idea behind gateways is to connect twin computers having distinct protocols in a way so as to enable them to communicate with each other. Such a gateway is called the communication gateway. Gateways will offer greater flexibility compared to routers which are typically used for two computers having similar protocols and similar software and hardware. The gateway technology allows various types of computers to be installed on the same gateway. They can also be programmed to deny or offer specific privileges. They may also be used for user-authentication; this is why a password is needed to access the gateway. Gateways may not be able to transfer data instantly because they deal with varying protocols.

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