What NAT Means and How it Acts on the Network

The Internet is made up of many terms, factors, services, tools … Each of the components serve to allow connections, make use of the multiple platforms on the network and, in short, navigate. In this article we are going to focus on what NAT means and why it is so important for our network, to be able to navigate day by day.

What does NAT mean

First, let’s talk about what NAT is. We can say that they are the acronyms of Network Address Translator , or Spanish network address translator. Its function is precisely that, to translate the addresses so that the connections are possible.

NAT Means and How it Acts on the Network

NAT is a fundamental part between our devices and the Internet . It is part of the router, modem or the equipment that we use to connect to the network. Sometimes it is known as IP address masking. This is so since it allows creating a public IP address so that possible strangers do not hack our network.

Each of the devices that are connected in our network have a unique IP address . Here we can mention computers, mobiles or any other equipment. This is necessary so that you are connected to the Internet and the router detects it and can work normally. What the network address translator does (whether on the router, modem or whatever device) is to provide a public IP address to that entire network, to the entire set of computers.

We can say that instead of having to assign a different IP address for each of these devices, NAT does is give a single one for all. It can be any between and Data packets from the Internet contain the external IPv4 address in their header. Depending on the data type, NAT forwards it to private or internal devices so that the data can be processed as needed.

In summary, NAT helps control that IPv4 addresses are exhausted , managing local or private IPv4 addresses of all the computers connected to the network. So if there are three computers, two mobiles, a printer and any other equipment, each one has a private IP address, which would make a total of seven addresses. NAT treats them individually within the network, but for the Internet, it is just an IP address, as if it were a single device.

Keep in mind that NAT acts only on IPv4 addresses . As we know there is also the option of IPv6, more adapted and with better characteristics. In this case there would be no need to translate the network addresses.

Qué es NAT

What does CG-NAT mean?

Another term that we can find is that of CG-NAT . It comes from Carrier Grade Network Address Translation. In this case we are dealing with a technique that allows the same public IPv4 address to be used where several private addresses are associated simultaneously.

What is this for? Its utility is that an operator allows multiple clients to connect to the Internet simultaneously. You would simply need a public IPv4 address . In this way, the limitation could be mitigated in order to cover the demand for services.

There are many operators that use this resource. Keep in mind that this is temporary, until IPv6 addresses are available in bulk. However, it has important disadvantages, such as the inability to make use of certain services, as it cannot forward ports on the router. This is so since the operator itself has its NAT.

At the user level this is not really noticeable. We can do speed tests and have no problem. Yes there could be differences regarding the ping, which could be somewhat higher in certain cases. But without a doubt something that affects CG-NAT is that we cannot open ports. This is what prevents us from using certain services on the Internet.

Check if we use CG-NAT

As we have mentioned some operators use this system. We can know quickly and easily if we are using CG-NAT or not . For this, a series of steps must be carried out.

The first thing we have to do is know what our IP is. There are tools on the Internet that tell us easily. Later, once we know what it is, we have to go to Start, open the Command Prompt and execute the command tracert + IP address (the one we have obtained).

Tracert CG-NAT

Once we execute this command it will show us one or two line breaks. In the first case it means that we are not using CG-NAT, while the second one is.

In this simple way we can know if we are using CG-NAT or not.