Last updated: 2/28/03
Q. What is a NAT?
is an abbreviation for Network Address Translation. A NAT, as the term
is commonly used, is a software/hardware device that performs the function. Basically,
as frequently used on this web site, a NAT translates packets from local
network Private Internet
Protocol (IP) addresses into an Internet IP address and vice versa. For
example, if one uses a combination broadband
router/Ethernet switch to share an Internet connection provided by a
cable MODEM, the service provider's system assigns and Internet IP address
to the router via the cable MODEM. A NAT inside the router translates
that IP address information in the packets of data from the Internet to local
IP addresses assigned to the PCs connected to the router. Local address
info in packets sent to the Internet from the PCs is translated to
the router's Internet IP.
More information than you will probably want to know on
the subject is available at http://www.suse.de/~mha/linux-ip-nat/diplom/nat.html.