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gateway

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Definition: A network gateway is an internetworking system capable of joining together two networks that use different base protocols. A network gateway can be implemented completely in software, completely in hardware, or as a combination of both. Depending on the types of protocols they support, network gateways can operate at any level of the OSI model.

Because a network gateway, by definition, appears at the edge of a network, related capabilities like firewalls tend to be integrated with it. On home networks, a broadband router typically serves as the network gateway although ordinary computers can also be configured to perform equivalent functions.

See also - What Is a Default Gateway?

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