NAT Introduction and basic configuration on a Cisco Router

What is NAT?

NAT is short for "Network Address Translation". The basic purpose of NAT is to translate private IP addresses which are used inside the company into public (global) IP addresses.

NAT is primarily used to conserve global IP addresses because it allows that many IP-enabled devices use a few public IP addresses. It's really easy to see NAT at work. For instance, at your work place you and your colleagues are probably represented by a single IP address and NAT allows you all to access the Internet at the same time.

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Introduction to Routing

As you may or may not know, communication on the Internet uses packets for transmitting data. So, every time your computer communicates with a computer on the Internet, IP packets are used to transmit and receive data.

Your computer by itself can’t deliver the packets all the way to the destination, so it relies on other networking hardware on the way over to do their part. We could say that Routing is a process of selecting the best paths through the network for forwarding packets from source to their destination.

I have to communicate with another computer! But he’s not in the same network as me! What do I do? Send the packets to the my default gateway! He IS in my network and hopefully, he WILL know what to do! :)

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