What is a NAT Firewall? How Does it Works

Did you ever ponder how things work on internet when you search for something online? Does it look as simple as A.B.C? Well, it actually is not that simple. In fact, there is a very complex process that brings you the results from trillions of websites or when you try to reach a particular URL. Besides, there could be unlimited threats, viruses, malwares and cyber attacks.

Hackers, snoopers, thieves, blackmailers and spies are there and always looking for loopholes to invade others networks, computers and mobile devices. If they are just the passersby, it might be ignored but they are much more than just passersby who are actually looking to steal your personal information so it could be exploited. The below given situation may be helpful for you to understand that how important your network can be.

Same like a government facility, your network must be secured. However, you don’t have to do anything because there are secret guardians at the gates of network. These guardians have been designed to fight with any kind of hacker or virus that tries to infiltrate in system.

One of those guardians is known as NAT Firewall which was designed to protect routers. Now if you don’t have clear understanding about it, let us help you understand it with more details.

What Can You Expect from a NAT Firewall?

Basically “NAT” stands for “Network Address Translation” and it is simply a networking technology which has been designed to connect various devices to a single network. A network facilitates multiple devices to access internet safely. All the connected devices are assigned a single IP address for public visibility but each one of them is assigned a separate IP address covertly for internal identification.

The system creates small sized data packets to store information and make it available on internet for users. The packets are delivered wherever and whenever required and there is no possibility of misjudgment for the type of packets and the delivery location. However, this is not possible unless each user has a unique IP address assigned by the ISPs.

The routers function on proper data sorting and each router is designated a unique IP address for allowing it to connect with internet. But the process does not stop here because as mentioned above many devices can be connected with a single router. Additionally, the router assigns a unique identity to each device that is connected to it.

This internal functionality of various IP addresses enables a router to respond each individual device with their required information. A firewall which is a security shield built around a router can perform following actions:

  • Protection against Malware: The internet is full of a large variety of malware and a firewall would stop them to invade your network connection.
  • Prevention against Hackers: There may be hundreds of hackers around you who might try to hack your system and a firewall can prevent them fulfill their evil deeds.
  • Selective Traffic to come In: The online traffic is a combination of local & foreign users, genuine users & spammers, male & female users and allowed and prohibited content. So the selection of audience is important.
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Top Three NAT Firewall Types

Basically there are 3 major types of Network Address Translation and their selection depends upon individual users’ networking requirement:

Type One: Static NAT

Primarily Static NAT Firewall is implemented by those networks which have various internal servers and using unregistered or private IP addresses. The audience accesses them by using a public IP address.

The Static NAT ensures network privacy, protection and transparency by obscuring internal network details such as patterns, structure and usage. However, there is a very strong connection and collaboration setup between the two IP address i.e. public and private IPs.

Type Two: Dynamic NAT

In dynamic NAT process, users are given access to a pool of diverse IP addresses which are available with NAT Device. In this particular method, a specific device acquires an IP address for a certain period of time from IP Pool and returns it when no more in use.

For example, if your computer system needs to connect a public IP for internet browsing, it will get it from pool and return it to the same pool. However, if you need to get the IP again the same day or any time in future, you will be given a different IP address.

Some individuals or organizations may buy a certain number of IP addresses from public pool to fulfill their requirements. By adopting this strategy, they may have more options to communicate through internet.

Type Three: PAT

PAT stands for Port Address Translation and basically it is an advanced form of Network Address Translation (NAT). In this method, a single IP is assigned to a bunch of devices which are connected to Local Area Connection (LAN)

The PAT technology was particularly designed to be used in small offices as well as houses and it has been very helpful in saving IP addresses.  The ISP allocates One IP to One Router and then the router itself assigns internal IPs to connected devices.

Why VPNs come with a NAT Firewall?

Do you need to use VPN while using NAT firewall? Well, if you are connected to the internet, your router can be a good protector for the system. Nevertheless, when you have an active VPN, the encryption process may get even stronger. An effective VPN may also improve NAT firewall integrated with routers.

A Mere NAT firewall may not be able to keep hackers and malware away from the users systems. However, the VPN service providers have now integrated firewall features within their virtual private networking systems. This extraordinary feature has been very effective in scanning network connection for detecting any kind of suspicious activities.

There are various benefits of having NAT firewall with VPN but it also has some downfalls. Some claim that firewalls in VPN may actually make your connecting device distinguishable. But an alternate to the firewall may be a unique strategy of assigning single IP address to multiple devices connected to a single server. In this way, the level of anonymity may get much better.

Is your router equipped with a NAT Firewall?

Are you sure your router has a NAT firewall? If not, there is a technique to check it out:

  • First you need to connect two devices such as a laptop and a Smartphone to your router.
  • Now check IP address on both devices one by one and for this you can also use Google to find An IP checking tool.
  • If you notice same address on both of your devices, it is surety that a NAT firewall is active in your router.
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Though, the devices come up with same addresses publicly, there are different addresses assigned internally to each device. It is not always possible to figure out the existence of a firewall in VPN but the more details may be availed from the documentation.

Furthermore, it is also good to mention here that some VPN might have NAT firewall feature with turn on/off options in their services while the others might give it as a paid feature. So don’t forget to check this out before you buy a VPN service.

Does NAT Firewall Cause Trouble with Torrenting?

If you use torrenting websites or tools, you might get interruption in your torrenting due to NAT firewall. The Wall may cause trouble in an effective communication among the torrent users.

Some users may complain about the disturbance with torrents but it is not the case with all the routers as they are not always connection breaker. In most of the cases of public WIFI, users may complain about torrenting interruption because it may not be allowed by network managers.

Just in case you are facing trouble with your routers, you better find a good VPN service and subscribe it for effective torrenting. With a VPN, you will be able to access any website that you want regardless of restrictions.

Some Extra Advantages of NAT Firewall

The initial purpose of creating NAT Firewall was to make internet connection more reliable and responsive. The basic aim was to maintain IP address so the devices don’t have to get readdressed every time they experience a change in network. With the passage of time, NAT Firewall benefits are being added to the initial purpose.

The NAT has proven to be very effective in preserving network space or storage and it has been very supportive for IPv4 protocol. This protocol, which is responsible to determine and assign unique IP addresses to different networks, has started facing trouble due to limitation with number of IP addresses. To address the issue, IPv6 has also been introduced but the process is quite slower. Now the problem is much resolved with NAT firewall.

Final Words

There are two types of internet users 1) those who have no interest in internet technicalities and just want to use it and 2) those who take interest in understanding internet behind the scene functionalities. If you belong to the second type, it would be good for you to learn about terms like “NAT Firewall” “VPA” “ISP” etc. When we talk about NAT Firewall, it is a secret guardian of your network that doesn’t just provide you what you are inquiring on search engines but also protect you from hackers, spammers and malwares.

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