IoT Gateway: definition, components and top cloud services to connect in 2024

May 02, 2024

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to evolve and accelerate innovations crossing sectors due to its network of interrelated devices. At the center of this intertwined ecosystem, the IoT gateway is a component for connecting IoT devices and cloud services.

A gateway is a communication channel for data, benefitting the transmission of information between edge devices and the cloud. Before delving into IoT gateways, it's essential to understand their functions and the primary cloud platforms they interface with. 

Here we will explain the IoT gateway definition and the leading cloud services in the IoT industry in 2024.

What is the IoT gateway?

What is the IoT gateway?

An IoT gateway is a physical device or software program that connects IoT devices and cloud services. It serves as the central hub to control and collect data, create alerts, and move data to the cloud. The gateways perform a steering information function between the IoT devices and the cloud security systems making it highly efficient by minimizing latency and improving data transmission over the IoT systems.

Gateways typically perform edge processing on collected data and handle its transmission to the cloud. This results in quicker response times and lower network transmission costs, ultimately enhancing system efficiency.

In addition, IoT gateways became an integral element for both managing and encrypting IoT devices by providing functions like tamper detection, encryption, and authentication to keep devices from physical to cyber security threats.

There are many producers of IoT gateways. The market includes a variety of manufacturers ranging from established technology companies to specialized firms focusing on specific aspects of IoT infrastructure. These producers offer gateways that vary in capabilities, from basic data routing to advanced edge computing functionalities, designed to meet diverse industrial and consumer needs across different sectors. As an example, you can visit our detailed guide and tutorial dedicated to connecting the SIA Connect Gateway to the esteemed Kaa IoT platform, a fundamental step in advancing your industrial IoT solutions. In the realm of industrial IoT applications, the integration of a gateway with a robust industrial IoT platform is pivotal for efficient data management and automation.

How does an IoT gateway function?

The IoT gateway solutions seamlessly connect using Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-wave, LoRaWAN, Cellular, and Sub-G protocols. They undertake the initial processing of IoT devices while reducing the volume and latency. The gateways also operate database maintenance and machine learning functions.

Therefore, the pre-processed data is sent to the cloud or the high-end server after the established communication. It allows data treatment to be performed closer to its source. On the other hand, the IoT gateway provides the protocol translation for the MQTT, CoAP, AMQP, DDS, and WebSocket as part of data systems.

IoT implementation in real-world scenarios is slightly more complex, especially with batteries lasting so long and sensors thoroughly depending on them. This direct data transmission to the cloud requires a considerable battery and promotes frequent charging. This battery adopts the structure of mesh networking or low-power protocols to transmit data through gateways. As the information reaches the cloud, it typically undergoes a protocol conversion process. The gateways manage a multitude of IoT devices, all of which transmit data to the cloud.

IoT gateway cloud platforms are cloud-based services and IoT gateways must be integrated into to facilitate data processing, storage, and management. These platforms often offer features such as data analytics, device management, security, and integration with other cloud services. They enable IoT gateways to connect seamlessly with cloud infrastructure, allowing for scalable and efficient IoT deployments. Popular examples of IoT gateway cloud platforms include KaaIoT, Microsoft Azure, ThinsBoard,  IBM Watson, etc.

Gateway architecture overview

The architecture diagram shown below represents the most typical design for a gateway that does not have built-in sensors. In this setup, the gateway software installed on the device is tasked with gathering data from external sensors, preprocessing this data, and then transmitting the results to a data center.

Modifications to this sensor architecture are possible, with some components potentially integrated directly into the gateway device, as illustrated in the diagram below. These components might include embedded sensors in the gateway, such as a GPS unit or a temperature sensor, which connect to the gateway via the GPIO interface.

IoT Gateway architecture overview

IoT gateway components

What are the key elements of an IoT gateway?

The components of an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway can vary depending on the specific use case. Essentially, an IoT Gateway functions as a low-powered edge server and can also serve as an internet router, setting up a local network similar to the routers found in homes and workplaces.

This gateway facilitates internet traffic routing to and from the connected devices. In the context of a cellular router, it is the cellular module that enables internet connection via a mobile network.

Typically, IoT gateways connect to the internet through cellular data or a fixed line via an ethernet port on the device. The methods for connecting other devices to the gateway can vary widely based on the type of gateway used.

When discussing gateway components, we can also highlight the following:

Components of IoT gateway


The hardware component is the physical device or appliance that serves as the gateway, often equipped with processors, memory, storage, communication interfaces such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Ethernet, and other necessary components.


The gateway runs software that enables it to perform various functions, including data collection, preprocessing, filtering, security protocols, and communication with other devices and the cloud.

Data processing

The gateway data is collected from IoT devices before transmitting it to the cloud. This involves filtering, aggregating, compressing, or encrypting data to optimize transmission and ensure data integrity, and security.


The gateway facilitates connectivity between IoT devices and the cloud platforms. It may support multiple communication protocols to accommodate diverse IoT devices and networks.

Security features

Security is a meaningful component of IoT gateways, including authentication, access control, encryption, and secure communication protocols to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access or cyberattacks.

How can an IoT gateway assist you?

Here are some common examples of IoT gateways:

  • Connecting Hardware to the Cloud and Other Devices
  • Protection and Risk Mitigation
  • Data Filtering
  • Interpreting Communication Between IoT Devices
How can an IoT gateway assist you?

Connecting Hardware to the Cloud and Other Devices

Think of IoT gateways like universal remotes. Although you could have separate remotes for each device, a universal remote consolidates control into one point, saving time and effort.

Devices can operate independently without IoT gateways, but managing them separately is more cumbersome, and they can't be configured to work together. An IoT gateway acts as a central hub, facilitating the flow of data to and from devices.

This communication with users and other devices happens via the cloud. Through cloud-enabled software, you interact with IoT devices via the gateway, whether sending or receiving information, such as protocol changes.

As the use of IoT devices and smart sensors grows, IoT gateways play a crucial role in connecting and enhancing their functionality across physical spaces. By incorporating universal IoT gateways early in your technology strategy, you can easily add devices, saving both time and effort.

Protection and Risk Mitigation

As the utilization of IoT devices expands, so do the security risks associated with them. Stories abound of IoT mishaps, such as autonomous cars behaving unpredictably or Wi-Fi baby monitors being compromised by hackers.

Every IoT device is vulnerable to external threats and hacking. However, an IoT gateway provides an additional layer of security between the device and the internet. Whether or not your business plans to significantly invest in IoT technology, implementing a gateway not only prepares you for potential future investments but also boosts the security of existing IoT devices.

Data Filtering

The IoT gateway facilitates communication between your IoT devices and enhances this communication by converting raw data into meaningful information. Seeing every single record would be impractical and would hinder the speed of the IoT devices because they can generate new data bits in mere fractions of a second.

To enhance communication and quicken response times, IoT gateways are designed to be intelligent and operate at the network edge. They assess and analyze the incoming data, ensuring that only essential, filtered data is sent to the cloud.

Interpreting Communication Between IoT Devices

IoT devices are increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, offering solutions for nearly every aspect of daily living. However, there is no universal language standard for these devices at present.

For instance, your office may have motion-sensor-based lighting and climate control systems, but these are unlikely to communicate with each other unless they are manufactured by the same company, or unless there are IoT gateways in place to translate the data between them. As the number of IoT devices increases, the role of gateways as central hubs becomes crucial in facilitating seamless interaction among devices.

Top cloud services for connecting an IoT gateway in 2024

The top cloud services offer a variety of features and functionalities to support IoT gateway development, providing connectivity, security, scalability, and ease of integration for IoT applications in 2024. Let’s look at some of them.


KaaIoT is an IoT platform that provides comprehensive features for building, deploying, and managing IoT solutions. It offers capabilities for device management, data collection and processing, analytics, and integration with other systems. KaaIoT enables developers to create custom IoT applications and services tailored to their requirements.


ThingsBoard, an open-source IoT platform built on Java, facilitates the rapid development and expansion of IoT applications. It enables data collection, processing, visualization, and device management. ThingsBoard offers versatile device connectivity with standard protocols like MQTT, CoAP, and HTTP. Moreover, it supports both cloud and local deployment options.

Oracle IoT

This platform is a service provider that leverages process automation and supply chain management. Its key objective is to reduce the time it takes to get to the market. Oracle provides real-time IoT data analysis and endpoint management, which generally assists firms in speedy decision-making based on the information. 

Interestingly, Oracle's IoT cloud platform offers attractive device visualization for consumable data analytics. The pricing is per device, with a fixed number of messages per month. 

IBM Watson IoT

IBM's IoT cloud services platform gives IoT applications access to the cloud to store data and analyze it for safety. IBM focuses on developing cloud services equipped with user-friendly and dependable security functionalities, making them integral players in IoT gateway communication.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive cloud computing platform offering a range of services such as computing, storage, networking, databases, analytics, and more. It provides tools and solutions for building, deploying, and managing applications and services on a global scale.

Amazon Web services

AWS offers a comprehensive range of solutions for IoT gateway development, including the AWS IoT Gateway that allows devices to securely connect to the AWS cloud, providing scalability, cost-effectiveness, and robust security features.

Each platform has its pros and cons, so when it comes to choosing the right solution, you need to consider a lot of factors. We have created a detailed comparison between KaaIoT, Microsoft Azure, and AWS. Discover how these platforms differ in supporting IoT needs, including device connectivity, data processing, and deployment options, and learn which platform may best fit your specific requirements.


In summary, the IoT gateway is a key component for the smooth communication between IoT devices and cloud services, for making data transmission successful, and for providing advanced functionality. Organizations need to take major concerns into account when selecting any cloud platform for IoT device deployment.

The things to consider when choosing a cloud service include scalability, reliability, security, and adaptation to the IoT protocols. Assuring the platform has adequate processing capacity, compatibility with multiple IoT devices, and the possibility to interface with other systems will guarantee success in the long run.


What is the difference between an edge gateway and an IoT gateway?

An edge gateway performs data processing and analysis locally at the network's edge, reducing latency. An IoT gateway facilitates communication, manages data transmission, and converts protocols.

Does IoT gateway provide security?

IoT gateways typically provide security features such as encryption, access control, authentication, and secure communication protocols to safeguard data transmission between IoT devices and the cloud.

How do I connect to the IoT gateway?

To connect to an IoT gateway, access its management interface via a web browser or dedicated software using its IP address or hostname. Log in with credentials, configure settings, add devices, and monitor connectivity.

What is an IoT router?

An IoT router is a network device that facilitates communication between IoT devices and the internet. It manages data transmission, security, and connectivity for IoT devices within a network.