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Note: This section is out of date and no longer maintained.
It is retained for the value of any residual information contained in it.


NAT stands for Network Address Translation. NAT is a technique for translating one set of IP addresses, often private, to another set, often public. Compare NAT to socks -- NAT is often implemented on a router or specialized NAT box, although it is equally commonly implemented on a PC, running NAT software.

NAT is a very flexible technique, but in the DSL world you will interested (or maybe using) just one implementation: NAT setup to allow a single public IP address to be simultaneously reused by multiple internal PCs with private IP addresses. To the outside world, you appear to have only a single IP, but you actually have many devices 'behind' this IP address.

Note, you don't get something for nothing here! With NAT, as with socks, incoming connections can be problematic to setup, requiring configuration on your NAT capable router, or NAT software, to assign (map) external services (web, FTP and so on) through to specific internal machines. Many NAT capable devices or software are not sufficiently flexible to cope with all requirements and software you may have, and some 'NAT unfriendly' protocols break, even if NAT maps them correctly!

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