VMware Workstation 5.5

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Considerations for Using NAT

Because NAT requires that every packet sent and received from virtual machines is in the NAT network, there is an unavoidable performance penalty. Our experiments show that the penalty is minor for dial-up and DSL connections and performance is adequate for most VMware Workstation uses.

NAT is not perfectly transparent. It does not normally allow connections to be initiated from outside the network, although you can set up server connections by manually configuring the NAT device. The practical result is that some TCP and UDP protocols that require a connection be initiated from the server machine — some peer to peer applications, for example — do not work automatically, and some may not work at all.

A standard NAT configuration provides basic-level firewall protection because the NAT device can initiate connections from the private NAT network, but devices on the external network cannot normally initiate connections to the private NAT network.

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