Difference between Gateway and Firewall

A gateway is a piece of networking hardware or a network node that allows two separate networks to communicate with one another. Computers and routers are the most typical gateways that can connect a company to the internet. A firewall is a network security system that determines which data packets are allowed to access the network.

Read through this article to find out how Gateways are different from Firewalls.

What is a Gateway?

A gateway is a network hardware device, sometimes known as a network node, that establishes a connection between a host network and a remote network. Because the gateway serves as both an entrance and an exit point, it is imperative that all data contact with it and go through it before using any of the available routing paths. The most frequent types of gateways are personal computers and wireless routers.

There are two different types of gateways −

  • Unidirectional Gateways − The unidirectional gateway only enables the sending of notifications in one particular direction. Changes that take place in the source ObjectServer are replicated in the application or destination ObjectServer; however, modifications made in the destination ObjectServer or application are not replicated in the source ObjectServer. The unidirectional approach allows for the creation of archives.

  • Bidirectional Gateways − A bidirectional gateway grants authority to send an alert from the source ObjectServer to the target or precise destination ObjectServer or application and also grants permission to the source ObjectServer to receive a reply from the target or exact destination ObjectServer or application.

The changes that are made in the content of a source ObjectServer are replicated into a destination ObjectServer or application in a bidirectional gateway configuration. Additionally, the alerts that are generated by the destination ObjectServer or application are copied into the source ObjectServer. The use of bidirectional gateways as synchronisation tools is something that is possible.

Benefits of Using Gateways

Following are some of the benefits of using gateways −

  • Connectivity − A gateway helps to grow a network by establishing connections between various computer systems.

  • Security − To prevent unauthorised entry, multiple layers of protection can be applied to a gateway, such as a user identification and password combination.

  • Filtering − A network gateway has the ability to regulate collision and broadcast domain.

  • Protocol Conversion − Gateways are also known as "protocol converters" because they can convert the data format to match the architecture requirements of the destination.

Drawbacks of Using Gateways

Following are the drawbacks of using gateways −

  • Implementation − In most cases, routers come pre-configured with a gateway already installed. Because of this, it is challenging and time-consuming for network administrators to install and configure them.

  • Time delays − When utilizing a gateway, there will invariably be some amount of time wasted due to the necessity of information translation. Additionally, gateways are required to return any cache information that has not been correctly cleaned, which adds some additional waiting time.

  • Connection Failure − Any problems with the connection will cause there to be a breakdown in communication.

  • Troubleshooting − It will be necessary to troubleshoot each individual computer in a network if the computers use different protocols.

What is a Firewall?

The traffic moving into and out of a network is watched over by a firewall. The decision to allow or restrict data transmission is made by a firewall based on the pre-set security rules that it follows. To accomplish this, it establishes a barrier between incoming traffic from external sources (such as the internet) and the internal network, thereby preventing hostile traffic such as that caused by hackers and viruses from entering the internal network.

It is possible to construct a firewall using only software or hardware; however, we recommend that you utilize both. A software firewall is a programme that may be placed on any computer to protect it against unwanted access through ports (also known as entry points) and apps. A piece of hardware that is set up as a firewall is referred to as a hardware firewall.

There are many distinct kinds of firewalls −

  • Packet-filtering firewalls − This form of firewall is the most fundamental and has been around the longest. A straightforward inspection of the data packets passing via the router is carried out by this firewall.

  • Circuit-level gateways − This straightforward firewall validates the transmission control protocol (TCP) handshake to ensure that packets are real.

  • Stateful inspection firewalls − These firewalls include packet inspection as well as TCP handshake verification.

  • Proxy firewalls − These firewalls filter incoming traffic and function at the application layer. They can be delivered via the cloud or another proxy device.

  • Net-generation firewalls − Deep-packet inspection, TCP handshake verification, surface-level packet inspection, and intrusion prevention systems are some of the common features of this type of firewall (IPSs).

  • Software firewalls − By isolating network endpoints from one another, these firewalls build an additional layer of defence within the system.

  • Hardware firewalls − These firewalls excel at perimeter security, intercepting malicious traffic before it reaches network endpoints.

  • Cloud firewalls − These firewalls are also known as FaaS(firewall-asa- service). Cloud-based firewalls are simple to scale; if your company's requirements expand, you simply add more capacity to the cloud server.

Benefits of Using Firewalls

Following are some of the noticeable benefits of using firewalls −

  • Traffic Monitoring − If a firewall identifies any dangers (viruses, trojans, or hackers), it will promptly stop them.

  • Access Control − Because they are subject to security breaches, certain hosts and services may be questionable. Firewalls feature an access policy that can be implemented to ban untrustworthy hosts.

  • Privacy − When utilising a firewall, the domain name system (DNS) information is blocked, so attackers cannot see the network's name or IP address.

Drawbacks of Using Firewalls

Following are some of the drawbacks of using firewalls −

  • Cost − It can be somewhat pricey depending on which firewall you use. Hardware firewalls are generally more expensive than software firewalls. Furthermore, hardware firewalls necessitate both installation and maintenance expenditures. Software firewalls, on the other hand, are simple to set up and use.

  • User Restrictions − Because firewalls prohibit illegal access, large enterprises may encounter this issue. Strict access policies may push staff to adopt "backdoors" as a workaround, which can lead to security issues.

  • Performance − Software firewalls run in the background all the time, consuming both processing power and random-access memory (RAM). Hardware firewalls, on the other hand, have no effect on system performance.

  • Malware Attacks − It should be noted that firewalls have been shown to be ineffective against certain types of malware. As a result, it is strongly advised that anti-malware software be installed on all PCs.

Difference between Gateway and Firewall

The following table highlights the major differences between a Gateway and a Firewall −

Basis of Comparison
A gateway is a network hardware device or hardware node that is used to connect two distinct networks together. Gateways can also be used to connect a single network to multiple other networks.
A firewall is a type of network security device that filters traffic originating from potentially harmful or insecure sources while also monitoring traffic flowing into and out of a network.
Gateways primary roles are to link various devices to one another and to both public and private networks. In addition, gateways connect devices to the networks itself.
The firewall will review and monitor all incoming and outgoing packets, and it will block any packets that do not fit the stated criteria for security.
Through the use of gateways, two separate network systems are able to connect with one another.
The firewall is essentially designed to filter suspicious traffic such as that caused by viruses and hackers.


In a nutshell, the term "gateway" can be utilized in a variety of settings, and there are a wide variety of applications that can make use of gateways. Gateways can perform their duties at any of the seven OSI layers. In a broader sense, a gateway is nothing more than a hardware or software interface that enables two distinct networks to connect with one another. It essentially connects two separate networks, so enabling users to communicate with one another across many networks.

A "firewall" is either the foundation of an organization's security infrastructure or a security system that monitors and controls the traffic between different network segments. Both of these functions are performed by the same security system. Firewalls restrict access to private networks that are connected to the Internet, notably intranets, from people who are not allowed to do so. By monitoring the incoming and outgoing traffic based on a pre-defined set of rules, firewalls basically prevent malicious traffic such as viruses and hackers from entering and leaving a network.