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DD-WRT Router Mode vs Gateway Mode – Understanding The Basic Differences

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In this article, we will try to highlight these differences for DD-WRT router mode vs gateway mode. We will tell you how does router works, what is a gateway IP, and how these two are similar and yet poles apart!

For somebody who has just stepped into the networking world, routers and gateways may seem to be one and the same thing.

However, there are some basic differences between the two that can be confusing to a newbie.

You might wonder….

If the devices have clearly individual names then why do users confuse the two?

That is because both of these perform the same task; managing and regulating network traffic between multiple networks.

They both work by the same mechanism too!

You need to install at least 2 network cards in the router/gateway and place it between the networks you want to regulate.

However, this is all that the router and gateway have in common. When you get into the functionality of the two devices, you will find out that gateways are used to regulate traffic between two different networks.

On the other hand, routers can only manage traffic regulation between two or more similar networks. Let us illustrate this point thoroughly in the article below.

Keep reading!

What Is Router Mode?

Simply put, a router is a device that connects multiple networks of the same type and controls the traffic between them. If you are tech-savvy, then there is a more elaborate way to explain what a router does.

On the basis of routing tables, a network router identifies the IP address of each incoming packet as well as its destination IP address. It then proceeds to find out the shortest possible path to forward it.  

Routers typically connect WANs and LANs together but can also be used with Gigabit Ethernet switches and hubs to expands a LANs capacity.

Routers are very useful when you want to segment traffic on large corporate networks. They allow only the traffic that is meant for a specific segment to flow through and thus reduce its overall amount flowing across the network.

Working Principle: “Installing routing information for various networks and routing traffic based on the destination address to ensure data packets are sent to the right addresses.”

What Is Gateway Mode?

Gateways, on the other hand, are also known as protocol converters. That is because they can connect one network to another dissimilar network and define network boundaries.

If you want this to work with the networks of different protocols then both (or all) of these should have gateways that allow the network to communicate via exit and entry points. This is the most typical use of gateway devices although they can also be employed to reduce network traffic.

An example of the gateway would be a device that joins Window NT network with a NetWare network or another one that connected a Personal Computer with a 3270 mainframe environment.

Working Principle: “Differentiating what is inside the network and what is outside the network in order to connect two networks of a different protocol.”

DD-WRT Router Mode vs Gateway Mode: Which One To Choose?

The requirements of your network decide whether a router or a gateway would be more suitable for you.

For example, let us assume that there are 30 computers in a single network that need to communicate with each other.

  • In this case, the router is a better choice because a single routing table that joins the hops between all of these devices is sufficient.

  • Now, let us again consider 30 computers, 20 of which run on one network and 10 others that use a dissimilar network.

  • If you want to exchange data between these computers, then the router will not be able to do so.

  • Now you need a reliable gateway device for both the networks so that these two will be able to communicate with each other.

Wrap Up

We have tried out best to explain in detail how a router and gateway works in the above article. The focus was to elaborate on their primary function and working principle to help decide which will suit better with your networking needs.

In a nutshell, the gateway acts as a single point of access from one network to another just like a door. In contrast, the router helps to determine the shortest possible path between two or more networks of the same type more like a staircase.

All in all, both devices come with potential features that can enhance network connectivity. You just need to assess what your requirements are before choosing between DD-WRT router mode vs gateway mode.

My Name is Hazel, I am Content Manager @freeholidaywifi. In my spare time i like to write about Tech, Software's & more. Other then that i love football & travelling new places.

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