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What is NAT?

Leonid Veselov
Leonid Veselov
May 24, 2012
What is NAT?

The Internet has grown to unimaginable size - according to approximate estimates, the network is at least 2 billion users (about a third of the world's population). The growth rate of the network is such that the number of its users on average doubles per year. And the growth of the Internet is directly related to the technology of network address translation (Network Address Translation, NAT). So what is NAT?

To connect computers, IP addresses are used - unique numbers that determine the position of the computer on the network. Initially it was assumed that 32-bit IP addresses would be enough to meet the needs of all potential network users. However, the actual number of available addresses is approximately 3.3 billion, and this number will not be enough. This is the answer to the question of what NAT is needed for - this technology allows you to convert IP addresses of packets, providing communication between the global and local network through a routing device. Thus, a group of computers can function at the same external address.In addition to compensating for the lack of network addresses, NAT contributes to enhancing computer security and simplifying administration — all of the above refers to the advantages of this technology. However, the translation of network addresses has a number of drawbacks, which include the inability of some protocols to overcome NAT, additional difficulties in identifying users, etc.

Next, you need to figure out what type of NAT is. NAT hides a series of internal network addresses under a single external address where different ports are assigned when a packet comes out. The recipient sees that the packet is sent by the NAT port, and the connection established in the first broadcast, NAT uses to route incoming packets, the restrictions on which the differences in the types of NAT consist. According to this principle, four types of NAT are distinguished: Full cone NAT, Address restricted NAT, Port restricted NAT, and Symmetric NAT.

Often there is also the question of what is NAT-PMP. In fact, this is a technology that allows you to automatically configure the router to allow direct communication of external sources with a computer on your internal network. A number of applications on the Internet work by using this technology, and often require a certain network configuration to gain access to them.

Gamers should know what NAT is in MW3. Having installed the game, you need to allow the computer to communicate with the server, for which you need to configure the router (usually, just go to the Advanced Setup - LAN modem settings and select Enable UPnP).

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