Network Address Translation (NAT)

Last Updated: December 15, 2016

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Definition - What does Network Address Translation (NAT) mean?

Network address translation (NAT) is a router function that enables public and private network connections and allows single IP address communication. While there are many public networks worldwide, there is a limited number of private networks. NAT was introduced as an effective, timely solution to heavy network volume traffic.

Techopedia explains Network Address Translation (NAT)

There are more than 350 million Internet users and approximately 100 million hosts. Users want to connect with each other, but IPv4 has limited individual IP addresses to handle client volume.

NAT was introduced to resolve this problem, and manages multiple client requests over one private IP address required by public networks. At NAT’s center is the router, which is used to hide actual public network addresses and readdress them with a new public IP address. For external networks, this new address may appear to be that of the router, although this is not the case.

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