VM Network Types

VM Network Types


When you’re using a Virtual Manager like VirtualBox or VMware Player you would like to use that virtual machine as another computer in the LAN or just have internet in it; well these virtualization’s software let you configure this feature providing some types of network interfaces to use in the machine when it’s running.

Here is a comparative table to understand what mean NAT, Bridged adapter, Internal Network and Host-only adapter.


VM Network Types
Type Bridged NAT Host-Only
**Description** The virtual machine appears as if it was a physical host on the network. The virtual machine hides behind the IP address of the VMware host. Other VMs in the same NAT (Network Address Translation) network can access it directly. The virtual machine can only access the VMware host and other VMs in the same host-only network.
**IP Address** The virtual machine requires it's own IP address from the network it is supposed to belong to. The virtual machine can have any private IP configured on the VMware host.
**Accessibility** Same as a physical host. Hides behind NAT, so port forwarding on the VMware host required if external access required. Not accessible from external network unless routed via another VM with access to both external network and the same host-only network.
**Use cases** An always-on server hosted on VMware, or a virtual router or firewall. Virtual machines intended for testing, or cases when the amount of IP addresses in the external network is limited. Virtual machines intended for testing with no need to access the network, or VMs which will be protected by a firewall in another virtual machine.
  Known to have problems with some wireless chipsets especially with Linux, also with Windows Vista. NAT is really a host-only network with a default gateway (on the VMware host) that routes and NATs.  

In VirtualBox you can easily choose one of these options from the Network option in the Settings of each Virtual Machine listing the available network types from the selector Attached to; additionally you can set an specific network type for each adapter in your computer.

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