A brief comparison of networking modes in Oracle Virtualbox.

NAT

  • NAT(Network Address Translation) mode is the default mode when you spin up a new virtual machine(vm) on virtual box.
  • This mode allows the vm to communicate with the ‘internet’ by using the host machine as a proxy
  • Communication to the vm can be made by configuring port forwarding through the vritualbox GUI or a CLI tool such as Vagrant.
  • This means all traffic to port 2222 on the host will be forwarded to port 22 of the vm.

NAT Network

  • Instead of creating a virtual NAT engine for each vm, Virtualbox creates one NAT engine is used for all vms as illustrated below:
  • As it is shown above, the vms can communicate to each other and as well as the ‘internet’.

Internal or Private Network

  • This mode allows the vms to be completely isolated from the host and the ‘internet’.
  • That is unlike NAT network mode, communication only occurs among the vms connected to the internal network.

Host Only Network

  • In this mode, a Virtual Ethernet adapter is used to allow the host and the vms to communicate directly.
  • The vms cannot communicate with any external network in this mode

Hybrid or Bridge Network

  • In this mode the vm acts as a physical device connected to your network
  • Basically, this is similar to buying a new computer and connecting it to your home or office network.

Written by

Former Glorified Electrician(aka Electrical Engineer). Now a Software Developer working on complex Enterprise Software. Lets connect on twitter @NdamuleloNemakh

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store