Is NAT a requirement for a internal network?

9,860 pts.
Tags:
External IP Addresses
NAT
Networking
Do we need to use Nat for our network if we have 5 computers and 7 useable IP addresses? Can we assign all the machines external IPs? Will this affect anything negatively?

Software/Hardware used:
NAT
ASKED: October 19, 2010  3:59 PM
UPDATED: October 20, 2010  8:26 PM

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When you assign external IP addresses to your clients, you are exposing them to the wild world of the internet. This means that unless the clients have strong firewalls and are completely patched (even then there are 0-day exploits), it is likely the systems will be compromised very quickly. It is always best practice to have private addresses behind your firewall/gateway and let it do the NAT for you. Most of them will do it dynamically and no additional configuration is likely needed. If you need to expose a system using an IP address, be sure to expose ONLY the necessary service(s) and disable/block everything else on that host.

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  • Spadasoe
    Assign your computers through DHCP (or static if you want to) a private network address. If your one or more of your systmes need outside exposure, such as a public web server, you will need to assign an outside address and configure the NAT in your firewall/router.
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  • petkoa
    I do think that assignment of external / public / real (whatever you call them) to LAN PCs have nothing to do with security of the network. If you have a properly configured firewall between LAN and IN risks are not greater with public IPs. About DHCP - it is possible to dispose public IPs the same way you dispose private IPs. About split DNS - the same as for DHCP... Anyway, sooner or later we all shall migrate to IPV6 - and shall forget about the concept of private IPs... So, my bottom line is that whatever you chose - private IPs with NAT and decently configured firewall, or public IPs with decently configured firewall, make your provisions for easy configuration and flexibility (DHCP, split-DNS) - if you have just 2 spare public IPs there are all chances that youll exhaust them before migration to IPV6. Petko
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  • Karl Gechlik
    [...] We’ve got the discussion going over at IT answers on whether NAT is a requirement for an internal network. Join Labnuke99, Spadasoe and Petkoa on sorting this one [...]
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