Residential Gateway - Definition
A residential gateway is a home networking device, used as a gateway to connect devices in the home to the Internet or other WAN.
The term "residential gateway" was originally used to distinguish the inexpensive networking devices designated for use in the home from similar devices used in corporate LAN environments (which generally offered a greater array of capabilities). In recent years, however, the less expensive "residential gateways" have gained many of the capabilities of corporate gateways and the distinctions are fewer. Many home LANs now are able to provide most of the functions of small corporate LANs.
It is an umbrella term, used to cover multi-function networking computer appliances used in homes, which may combine a DSL modem or cable modem, a network switch, providing LAN switching, a consumer-grade router, a wireless access point and VoIP. In the past, such functions were provided by separate devices, but by technological convergence, they have often merged into a single device.