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Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac by Joe Kissell

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Networking Modes

Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox each offer several networking modes (though they sometimes use different terminology to describe them), and these modes affect how (if at all) Windows can communicate with other computers, both locally and over the Internet:

  • Shared networking: Also known as NAT (for Network Address Translation), shared networking is the default for all three programs; it lets Windows access the Internet without itself being visible to other computers on a network. Windows uses a special, private IP address that's provided by the virtualization software.

  • Bridged Ethernet: In this mode, the virtual machine appears as a separate computer on the network. This means that Windows will have its own IP address, ...

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