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What's Network Address Translation in a Router?

Posted on 2005-04-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I'm currently using the LinkSys 2.4Ghz Wireless-G Broadband Router.

I was recommended to use a Router that does not have Network Address Translation activated on it.

This is because the service will broadcast my ISP's IP rather than my own.

A router like this (about $700), Cisco 806, 831, 1710, 1711, 1712

I still don't quite understand what the above means, can someone give me a more detailed explaination?  Preferably with an example or illustration.
Question by:jay28lee
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

mattisflones earned 800 total points
ID: 13758333
>This is because the service will broadcast my ISP's IP rather than my own.
The IP "broadcasted" is your public IP no matter what anyone says.. Nothing to do with that.
NAT is a good security feature, but you can disable it in the Linksys web interface.. but theres no reason to..
(What is NAT: http://www.vicomsoft.com/knowledge/reference/nat.html)

Why do you need a Router by the way? To build a LAN? If so.. get a switch instead.. thats all you need.

Accepted Solution

Pasdargent earned 1200 total points
ID: 13758916
NAT is network address translation and it allows a network to have one public "face" (your ISP's IP address your cable modem has been assigned).  If one of the computers on the private network sends a request to a website, that website will see it coming from the IP of the cable modem since it is NATed.  On the contrary, if one computer on your network contacts another computer on your network, it will see the computer's IP address and not the router's since that traffic didn't have to go through the router to get to the other computer.

I don't understand the recommendation for not using NAT since it is almost a given that a network will use this feature for outbound traffic.  I would highly recommend leaving NAT enabled as it probably is by default.

Also, for a home network to enable all network computers to access the Internet, a Linksys router (like the one you mentioned) should work fine.  Don't drop the money on a more expensive piece of hardware like a Cisco or the like unless you know for sure they have a feature you absolutely need (but it doesn't sound like you do need these advanced features).

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