Are Gateways available as a standalone device on the network or always as a part of other system like within a router, proxy server and Firewalls ?

Assuming that the router, proxy server and Firewalls are forms of hardware gateways , what are the software gateways and how they are implemented ?



"Gateway" is a rather broad term that is used for various services. A router is a network-layer gateway. An application-layer gateway can be arbitrarily complex (HTTP caching or reverse proxy, application-specific security filtering, ...).

Most functions are available in a hardware appliance, as a software module or as a virtual machine/appliance. There are dozens of different gateway types and virtually infinite ways to implement them. The basic function chain is receive traffic, analyze, filter or modify, and transmit.

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