Residential Gateways are a new class of devices that perform multiple tasks for high-speed internet users on either DSL or cable modem connections. A Residential Gateway allows one fast internet connection to be shared among an entire network of computers.

Additional specifications may vary depending on the manufacturer.

Residential Gateways incorporate several formally commercial devices into an affordable consumer component. Most act as a configurable firewall. Some Residential Gateways have a built-in Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server to automatically assign an IP address to several computers upon logging onto the network. Residential Gateways use standard Ethernet 10baseT connections.

                           |Cable 
                           |
                           |
                       ---------
                       | modem |
                       ---------
                           |
                           |
                       ---------
                       |Gateway|
                       ---------
                           |
                           |
                       ---------
                       |  hub  |
                       ---------
                         / | \
                        /  |  \
                       /   |   \
            Computer 1     |     Computer 3
                           |
                      Computer 2

A single computer can be connected directly to the gateway instead of a hub. If more computers are to be installed, a hub should be included in the system.