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Port address translation

Port address translation

(also PAT, overload, port overload)

Port address translation definition

Port address translation is a form of dynamic network address translation that allows multiple users on the same private network to use a single public IP address when they need to leave the private network and use the internet.

Why use port address translation?

  • To save IP addresses — without PAT, the internet would quickly run out of IP addresses and wouldn’t be able to function.
  • For increased security — network administrators in large organizations can supervise their users when they share the same IP address.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security