Stands for “Network Address Translation.”

NAT is a technique of translating a number of inside IP addresses of computer systems on an area network to a single shared world IP handle. Network routers use NAT to direct incoming visitors from the Internet to the right vacation spot on the native network. In addition to permitting a number of computer systems to share a single world IP handle, NAT improves the safety of a network by obscuring the native IP addresses of particular person computer systems from the skin.

Every device on a LAN has a non-public IP handle for communication inside that network. Typically, the one device on an area network with a public and globally-unique IP handle is the modem or gateway that gives its connection to the Internet. The network’s router makes use of NAT to translate each outgoing knowledge packet by altering the supply IP handle from the pc’s non-public handle to the gateway’s public one. It additionally replaces the supply’s port quantity with a brand new distinctive port quantity and saves that port to a document in a NAT desk. When the router receives incoming knowledge packets, it identifies the vacation spot using the port quantity. It appears to be like up that port within the NAT desk and interprets the vacation spot handle back to the right laptop’s non-public handle.

NAT translating private IP addresses to a public IP address, using a unique port to identify the local computer
NAT translating non-public IP addresses to a public IP handle, using a novel port to determine the native laptop

IPv4 makes use of 32-bit addresses, which limits the overall accessible namespace to roughly 4 billion addresses; reserved blocks for personal networks take up a number of million of these. Since this quantity is inadequate for each Internet-connected device to have a novel handle, NAT is critical to offer networked computer systems with an Internet connection. IPv6 makes use of 128-bit addresses, which supplies sufficient handle area for a number of quadrillion distinctive gadgets however will not be but universally adopted.

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