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This article discusses some of the differences between the Shared Networking (NAT) networking option and the Virtual Switch networking option in Virtual PC.
When you configure the networking options for a guest PC in Virtual PC, you can click one of the following three options:
Shared Networking (NAT)
Note The Virtual Switch option is only available when Virtual PC is installed on one of the following operating systems:
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
Shared Networking (NAT)
The Shared Networking (NAT) networking option uses the Virtual PC Network Address Translation (NAT) and Port Address Translation (PAT) service to provide networking support for the guest PC. When you use this option, one or more guest PCs can share the IP address of the host computer. When you use this option, it is best to configure the guest PC operating systems to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Virtual PC then assigns the guest PC a temporary, non-routable IP address and performs all of the packet translations that are required. The Shared Networking (NAT) networking option is suited for typical network activities such as browsing the Web, accessing e-mail, accessing FTP sites, or accessing shared printers and files. This networking option is not suitable for moreadvanced networking scenarios, such as running a Web or FTP server on the guest PC. For these advanced networking scenarios, it is best to use the Virtual Switch option.
The Virtual Switch networking option addresses both typical and advanced networking requirements, such as a running server program that has predefined port numbers, remote login (RLOGIN), network performance analysis (NETPERF), or remote shell (RSH) support. This networking option permits the highest degree of compatibility and control. When you use the Virtual Switch networking option, a guest PC can use the following network protocols:
It is best to use the Virtual Switch networking option if the guest PC is connected to a Microsoft or Novell network and if it must be authenticated on the network.Virtual Switch networking option is the default networking option in Virtual PC 5.x.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.