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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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IP NAT Address Terminology

As its name clearly indicates, IP NAT is all about the translation of IP addresses. When datagrams pass between the private network of an organization and the public Internet, the NAT router changes one or more of the addresses in these datagrams. This translation means that every transaction in a NAT environment involves not just a source address and a destination address, but also potentially multiple addresses for each of the source and destination.

In order to make clearer the explanation of how NAT operates, several special designations have been developed to refer to the different types of addresses that can be found in an IP datagram when NAT is used. Unfortunately, the terminology used for addressing in NAT can ...

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