VMware Workstation 5.0

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Understanding NAT

Network address translation — or NAT — provides a simple way for virtual machines to use most client applications over almost any type of network connection available to the host. The only requirement is that the network connection must support TCP/IP.

NAT is useful when you have a limited supply of IP addresses or are connected to the network through a non-Ethernet network adapter. NAT works by translating addresses of virtual machines in a private VMnet network to that of the host machine. When a virtual machine sends a request to access a network resource, it appears to the network resource as if the request came from the host machine.

NAT uses the host's own network resources to connect to the external network. Thus, any TCP/IP network resource to which the host has access should be available through the NAT connection.

The chief advantage of NAT is that it provides a transparent, easy to configure way for virtual machines to gain access to network resources.

This section discusses the following topics:

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