What is an Ethernet Gateway And What is it Used For?

The entire system of internet network communication that we all enjoy and use on a daily basis is possible solely because of gateways and more specifically Ethernet gateways. Simple tasks like sending an email or running a Google search requires a volley of back and forth data transmission. The end result that we get in a matter of seconds is due to the presence of gateways that facilitate the smooth exchange of data and communication between different networks.

To understand the functioning and the uses of an Ethernet gateway, it is important to understand what an Ethernet is.

What is Ethernet? 

Ethernet is basically a Local Area Network (LAN) technology; in fact it is the most widely used one. Just like other network technologies, it is governed by a set of protocols that format and facilitate data transmission to other networks of the same segment. It consists of data packets and frames, which together, measure the payload of data, note the sender and receiver identities and also provide several bytes of information necessary for establishing the connection between different networks.

What is an Ethernet gateway? 

In simple terms an Ethernet gateway is a node in certain computer network that basically acts as a router. It is the key touch point for data during transmission across different networks that use different protocols.

Similar types of networks are usually connected using a Bridge and dissimilar networks are connected using gateways.

It takes the form of a router in most cases that facilitates a connection between the home enterprise and the internet. In an office network, the home enterprise would be the workstation and for home based networks the gateway would be the Internet Service Provider that provides reliable access to the internet.

Some gateways also provide Ethernet to DH+ network access, because of which they are mainly used in large enterprises.

Routers – Routers are pieces of hardware or equipment associated with the network that establishes a connection with the internet. In home based Ethernet networks, a router usually takes the form of a modem or a similar small device that comes with special software meant to be installed in home based computer devices. This particular software sets up a private network for the user that allows everyone associated with the network has access to the internet provided by the ISP.

Other types of gateways – There are a number of other types of gateways as well that perform a myriad of tasks such as web application firewall that filters the traffic associated with a web server, a cloud storage gateway that process storage requests on the cloud, a media gateway that converts data formats for access across different networks and so on.

What is the use of an Ethernet gateway? 

As mentioned before, an Ethernet gateway acts as a touch point for data during transmission over different networks. It guides the incoming data and directs it to the respective destinations effectively.

For example, in a home based network, a router has control over the paths through which information or data travels in and out. It makes use of its headers and configured forwarding tables to identify each and every data packet that may carry your email information, online activities or transactions and the like and figure out their destinations.

This way, the Ethernet gateway facilitates the exchange of data across networks. It provides access to different networks by which it allows the user to send and receive emails, shop online, browse web pages and perform other online activities. Clearly, the information that we enjoy at our fingertips can be attributed to the functioning of an effective and efficient Ethernet gateway.

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