What Is Network Address Translation (NAT)

Network Address translation, also termed as NAT in common, is a method of modifying the network address in the header of the datagram so that the address can be remapped from one IP address to another. Natting is not necessary for running a network but it is a technique to ensure a better, smoother and efficient routing system. NAT44 refers to the mapping of IPV4 addresses while NAT64 is used to indicate the mapping of IPV6 addresses. NATTING has made network administration very easy and efficient as administrators can easily map the address from one space to the corresponding address to another space.

There are many advantages of using Network address translation instead of using the real IP address. Some of them are given below. People studying computer network conduct researches on Network address translation to analyze how it can be further used to bring advancements.

1. Cost Reduction

Cost reduction is the greatest benefit to consider whenever we analyze anything. When using NAT (Network address translation), a larger number of hosts share one or more public IP addresses. This reduces the IP consumption that saves cost. If you have a larger IP address space, you need to get more systems, lowering the space can, of course, save you a lot of money while your hosts remain the same.

2. Addition of new clients

Network address translation allows you to access the devices through the private addressing and you do not specifically need the private IP address. This let you add as many new clients as you want without worrying about the public IP address.

3. Better Administration

Network address translation has made the life of network administrator easy. They can have a better lookout at the network using NAT. In addition to all the benefits of a private network, they can connect to the internet as well. They can also route and filter packets and can enjoy the automatic configuration of client computer.

4. Transparency

Network address translation is like an open book. Everything is in front of your eyes and nothing changes except few routers, you do not need to change the hosts or any configuration. It is very easy to manage and smooth to process.

Despite of these great advantages, there are some disadvantages as well. Here are some of the drawbacks of using Network address translation.

5. Complexity

Though NAT is very easy to use for administrators, it can be complex to handle for a normal person having lesser knowledge about networks. As address is substituted, troubleshooting gets more complex.

6. Malfunctioning

Due to the lack of real IP address, sometimes things may fail to work as expected.

7. Access Problems

The biggest drawback of using Network address translation is that you cannot individually access the devices or client computers. Network address translation gives you the access to the network and as network is configured using private addresses, you cannot explicitly address a particular host or client without real IP address.

Despite all the disadvantages, Network address translation (NAT) is considered significantly helpful in the field of computer networking and used all over the world to deign networks.