A Gateway Router is a gateway (DSL or cable modem) and a router (often with Wi-Fi) combined into one device, and does not need an additional modem or router to connect to the Internet. A benefit of this is that a gateway router will have less cords, and take up less space than having two devices. And if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is charging a monthly fee, it's probably cheaper to buy your own and return the ISP gateway router. The downside is that if the gateway router stops working, you will completely lose your ability to connect to the Internet, whereas if a router stops working you can always remove it and connect directly into the gateway to get online with at least one computer. Additionally, gateway routers provided by ISPs are notoriously of poor quality - meaning the Wi-Fi may not be so strong. They also are reused - from customer to customer, without being inspected or tested. Most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will provide you with a gateway modem that will connect either to your phone line (DSL) or to your cable service (a coaxial connection like your cable TV.) Although this modem may be both wired and wireless, it may not have a SPI firewall, though it may have NAT. Because of this, most people purchase a wireless router that has both SPI an NAT. Francis IT can check your current internet and WiFi service and recommend appropriate measures to secure your devices and possibly save you some money at the same time.
And remember, there is no problem mixing Windows with Apple or Android products on any router. That even includes adding a network printer that anyone can use - provided the correct router has been purchased. Feel free to call us for recommendations on how to set up and protect your online connection.