6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Network Address Translation | Limitations & Benefits of Network Address Translation

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6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Network Address Translation | Limitations & Benefits of Network Address Translation

6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Network Address Translation | Limitations & Benefits of Network Address TranslationWhat is NAT ?

Network Address Translation (NATis a process of converting single IP address space into global one. It was introduced overall to prevent IPv4 address space exhaustion. Generally NAT does it work on a router or firewall simply interconnecting two networks. From NAT many devices can be connected to the intranet through a single public address.

Moreover for networking systems, NAT provides double feature of address translation and security. However NAT comes with advantages as well as disadvantages. In certain scenarios it can be useful but can be definitely problematic in others. 

In this article, I will be mentioning about 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Network Address Translation | Limitations & Benefits of Network Address Translation. From this post you will know the pros and cons of using NAT.

Let's get started,
  Advantages of Network Address Translation

1. Cost Savings

When using NAT with private IP addresses, the organizations don't need to purchase IP address for each and every computer out there. Same IP address can be used for multiple computers. Thus, this can lead to significant cost reduction.

2. Address Conserving

When the user uses NAT overload, NAT allows preserving the IPv4 address space by allowing the privatization of intranets. This especially happens through the process of Intranet Privatization. In this process all the addresses are saved by multiple applications at the port level.

3. Flexible Connection

By implementing multiple tools, backup tools and load balancing tools, NAT can overall increase the flexibility and reliability of the network. This happens when establishing to the public network or any other network connection.

4. Consistent Network

NAT provides a consistent network addressing scheme. Whenever there is a use of public IP address, there should be proper address space assigned. This is because if the network is enlarged, more of the IP address will be required.

5. Network Security

All the original source and destination address in NAT is hidden completely. Unless the user wants to, the hosts inside the NAT cannot be reached by hosts on other networks. Therefore, NAT provides additional layer of network security.

6. Private Addressing

NAT has its own private IPv4 addressing system even if you move to a new public addressing scheme. Al though if you change the Internet Service Provider, the changes in the internal address will be prevented. 

Disadvantages of Network Address Translation

1. Decreased Performance

Whenever a guest makes a request to a remote server, it will make sure that the connection belongs to the NAT router. However some hosts implement security mechanisms on how many requests to be accepted. If the defining number exceeds, further requests will not be responded. This can create performance degrades especially in real time protocols such as VoIP.

2. Application Usage

Since hosts inside the network is unreachable at times, some applications tends to have compatibility issues with NAT. These applications depend on end to end functionality which the network fails to supply.

3. Protocol Usage

Since the value inside the headers are changed in NAT, tunneling protocols such as IPSec can be complicated to be used. Whenever the values inside the headers are modified, the integrity checks are interfered causing them to fail.

4. Service Usage

Most often when using NAT, services that require TCP or UDP are affected making them unstable. Incoming packets will have problems reaching their destinations. The only way to achieve them is by configuring NAT router.

5. Memory Usage

NAT needs to examine all the incoming and outgoing data packets converting local and global IP addresses. This makes all the translation details to be stored inside the memory. Thus, lots of memory as well as processor is consumed by the NAT.

6. Troubleshooting

Always when using NAT, the end to end traceability slowly reduces. In here the IP addresses are changed constantly over multiple NAT hops. This makes troubleshooting more difficult or almost impossible especially in remote locations.

Network Address Translation includes certain benefits and drawbacks. Through this post you will know the 6 advantages and disadvantages of NAT.

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