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Chapter 8.7. Connection Sharing > How Network Address Translation (NAT) works

How Network Address Translation (NAT) works

NAT works by translating the TCP/IP header and TCP/UDP ports in packets, which are forwarded to and from the Internet. If more than one internal workstation is trying to reach the Internet at the same time, NAT can randomly choose a port to track the different requests, even if using the same external (Internet) address and port. Source addresses are translated in outbound packets and destination addresses are translated back on inbound packets. The NAT router maintains a table, which keeps track of the addresses translated. Figure 8.7.1 shows how NAT would handle two simultaneous requests to a Web server on the Internet.

Figure 8.7.1. A NAT server translates source and destination addresses as needed to facilitate communications.



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