What is NAT? How does it work? What are its benefits?

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NAT stands for network address translation. It’s a way to map multiple local private addresses to a public one before transferring the information. Organizations that want multiple devices to employ a single IP address use NAT, as do most home routers.

Working of NAT:

Let’s say that there is a laptop connected to a home router. Someone uses the laptop to search for directions to their favorite restaurant. The laptop sends this request in a packet to the router, which passes it along to the web. But first, the router changes the outgoing IP address from a private local address to a public address.

If the packet keeps a private address, the receiving server won’t know where to send the information back to — this is akin to sending physical mail and requesting return service but providing a return address of anonymous. By using NAT, the information will make it back to the laptop using the router’s public address, not the laptop’s private one.

Benefits of NAT:

  • It allows you to rescue the private IP address.
  • It has got good security features that enhance the security of private networks by separating the internal network from the external network.
  • It helps to conserve the IP address space. You can connect a large number of hosts using a small IP address to the global internet.
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