thewul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VM - Netwerk Adapter - What's the difference between 'NAT' and VMnet0 (Auto-bridging)

Windows 10 x64, VMware Workstation 15.5, 2 VM's

I noticed that with one the network adapter reads :
"NAT: Used to share the host's IP address", but the other one reads "Custom:">VMNet0 (auto bridging)

They both work fine, but I have no idea what VMNet0 means, opposed to host's IP address I mean.

Stumbled over this because I was looking for a way to use VPN for a VM only, meaning to say the host should make use of the full bandwidth (fiber), whereas the VM, there is no hurry and I want that to use VPN (ExpressVPN)

ExpressVPN has an option to 'Manage the connection on as per app basis', so I can add VMware.exe as an allowed app to use the VPN.

Anyway, at that point and going thru the VM settings I noticed this difference.

Thanks.

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4 Replies
RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

Bridging gives your VM direct access to the external network, making it appear like any other computer on your network.  NAT uses a NAT translation router to give your VM a private IP address but allow it access to the external network.  For more info about networking, check the manual.

thewul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thank you very much indeed. Actually I tried to figure this out myself, but could not find the relevant article in whatever PDF. Could you give me a hint.
Note: I checked out VMware Workstation Pro Documentation

Thanks again.

 

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btmp
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VMware.exe is the UI. VMs themselves run from "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\x64\vmware-vmx.exe"

Adding it this way using the Host with the VPN (unless you only have one VM) will be problematic, if it even works (which I highly doubt it will), as it would apply to every VM. I'm also not sure how that would work out as I've never tested such options in a VPN splitting traffic like that -let alone with a product like VMWare Workstation which uses drivers to handle the network related things and might potentially be too 'low level' for any 'Application' to assign traffic via executables as the vmware-vmx.exe isn't the one really doing the 'talking'. It's the VMWare drivers behind the scenes 'actually' handling that. I suppose it depends on how the VPN implements it and if they are also using a driver to control the flow of things (and if so which altitude it runs at vs VMWares) or if they are instead injecting a dll to alter and handle traffic or more likely hijacking specific Windows APIs inside of specific processes. 😕

 

I'd suggest, if possible, simplifying things and installing the VPN Software inside of the desired VM (then set that VPN copy to encrypt all connections) and bypass any such potential issues. As far as which type of network to use I'd probably opt for a bridged connection in such a situation.

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thewul
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Sorry for the delay.
Thank you very much indeed. Indeed, I could get this split traffic to work properly (also whilst using vmware-vmx.exe).
Maybe I'll try to install ExpressVPN within a VM some time future, right now, I guess I keep it 'simple' and accept the reduced bandwidth when running VMware using ExpressVPN (using host adapter).

Thanks again.

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