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Cisco Cookbook by Ian Brown, Kevin Dooley

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Chapter 21. NAT

21.0. Introduction

Network Address Translation (NAT) was first described in RFC 1631 in 1994. The authors of that document were trying to solve the imminent problem of running out of IPv4 addresses. They proposed a simple but brilliant solution: allow devices on the inside of a network to use the standard pool of unregistered IP addresses currently defined in RFC 1918. The router or firewall at the boundary between the internal private network and the external public network could then use software to rewrite the internal IP addresses of every packet, replacing them with valid registered addresses.

There are four kinds of addresses: inside local, inside global, outside local, and outside global. Inside and outside are relative terms if you’re just connecting two private networks. But if you are connecting a private network to the public Internet, the Internet is considered the outside. A local address is generally the private address, while the global address is the globally unique public address.

To help make these terms more clear, suppose you are connecting a network that uses RFC 1918 private addresses to the public Internet. Inside your network you have private addresses, such as 192.168.1.0/24. These are the inside local addresses. NAT will translate these addresses to globally unique registered addresses, which are also the inside global addresses. The addresses on the public Internet are outside global addresses. These external network addresses are all registered ...

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