Network Address Translation
An Internet standard
that enables a private network (LAN) to communicate
to a public network (ie Internet)
NAT is usually achieved with a combination of hardware and software, in
it's simplistic form there is a network card which is on the public facing
side of the network and a network card on the private side, NAT enables
the 2 to talk to one another (but only one another) to enable traffic on
the internal private network to communicate to the external network.
Can act as a firewall by hiding the internal network from the outside
world (as only the public facing network card can talk to the private
facing network card)
Enables a company to use any set of IP addresses internally without the
possibility of any conflict with the outside world.
If you are currently using a cable/adsl
router at home chances are it
is using NAT. Take a look at the base or back of the router and you will
see 2, 12 digit numbers, probably marked A and B or WAN,
LAN, these are the unique identifying numbers for the public and
private network cards described above - called MAC addresses.