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Linux.com: An Introduction to IP Masquerading (Part 1 of 2)

May 17, 2000, 11:01 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Craven)

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"Now that relatively high-bandwidth Internet connections are becoming both commonplace and inexpensive, cable modem and DSL users wanting to put more than one computer on the Internet find that their Internet service provider will not allow them to do so. Typically, an ISP will grant a user a single, dynamically-allocated IP address to be used by only one computer at the user's home, in order to conserve their precious pool of IP addresses."

"However, that one IP address can be put to much use by employing IP masquerading. In this technique, one's Linux box acts as a gateway between an Internet connection and one's other home computers (whichever operating system they run). The other computers are assigned "private" IP addresses which are not routable on the Internet, and the Linux box takes the address granted to you by your ISP. Once masquerading is working, all traffic bound to the Internet from your home network will be sent to your Linux box, which will translate the private IP addresses of your local machines into the one real address from your ISP. Traffic returning from the Internet will pass through your Linux box, which determines the computer on your home network that will receive the data. This way, multiple machines on your home network can be using identical services (such as ftp), and your Linux gateway will automatically sort which data goes where."

"Phew! Sounds complicated, but don't worry: we'll break it down into a few simple steps, and go from there."

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