Difference Wiki

NAT vs. PAT: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 13, 2023
NAT (Network Address Translation) translates IP addresses from a local network to the internet, while PAT (Port Address Translation) translates both IP addresses and port numbers.

Key Differences

NAT, standing for Network Address Translation, is a method used in networking to modify IP address information in IP packet headers, typically as the traffic travels from a private network to a public one. On the other hand, PAT, which stands for Port Address Translation, takes this a step further by also translating port numbers.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023
The primary purpose of NAT is to allow a single public IP address to represent multiple private IP addresses, effectively hiding an entire IP address space, usually consisting of private IP addresses, behind a single IP address in another, often public, address space. PAT, conversely, allows multiple devices on a local network to share a single public IP address but differentiates the traffic by changing the source port numbers.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023
NAT is a fundamental technique commonly utilized to deal with the shortage of IPv4 addresses, allowing multiple devices within a private network to share a single public IP address. PAT, as a type of NAT, is particularly useful for situations where multiple devices need to access external resources simultaneously, such as browsing the internet.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023
A significant distinction is that while NAT focuses on translating IP addresses, PAT emphasizes translating the combination of IP addresses and port numbers. Therefore, through PAT, multiple devices can have their traffic sent and received through the same public IP, but they are distinguished by their unique source port numbers.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023
In terms of application, NAT is typically seen as the broader concept under which PAT operates. While all PAT operations involve some form of NAT, not all NAT operations involve PAT. It's essential to understand the differences and nuances between NAT and PAT when designing or troubleshooting network architectures.
Harlon Moss
Oct 13, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Network Address Translation
Port Address Translation
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Primary Function

Translates IP addresses
Translates IP addresses and port numbers
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Use Case

Sharing a single public IP for multiple devices
Multiple devices accessing external resources simultaneously
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Differentiation Method

Based on IP addresses
Based on IP addresses and source port numbers
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Type

A broader networking concept
A subset of NAT
Harlon Moss
Oct 13, 2023
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NAT and PAT Definitions

Nat

NAT stands for Network Address Translation.
With NAT, our local network devices can share a single public IP address.
Harlon Moss
Oct 13, 2023

Pat

PAT allows simultaneous external access for multiple devices.
All household devices can access the internet at once, thanks to PAT.
Janet White
Oct 13, 2023

Nat

NAT allows for private IP address spaces.
Thanks to NAT, we can use private IP ranges like 192.168.0.0/16.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 13, 2023

Pat

PAT stands for Port Address Translation.
PAT ensures that our numerous devices can use one public IP when browsing the internet.
Huma Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Nat

NAT facilitates communication from private to public networks.
Devices on our private network can access the internet due to NAT.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Pat

PAT differentiates traffic by altering source port numbers.
PAT distinguishes my laptop's traffic from my tablet's by changing their source ports.
Janet White
Oct 13, 2023

Nat

NAT is utilized to conserve IP addresses.
Because of the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, NAT becomes essential.
Janet White
Oct 13, 2023

Pat

PAT translates both IP addresses and port numbers.
Because of PAT, my computer and phone can have distinct sessions with the same external server.
Sara Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Nat

NAT operates at the network layer.
NAT functions by modifying packet information at the network layer.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 13, 2023

Pat

PAT is a type of NAT.
While PAT involves NAT principles, it further includes port number translation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Nat

A spirit in Burmese mythology, whose cult is followed alongside Buddhism.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

Pat

To tap gently with the open hand or with something flat.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

Nat

A logarithmic unit of information or entropy, based on natural logarithms.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

Pat

To stroke lightly as a gesture of affection.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

Nat

(obsolete) Not.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

Nat

Not.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

Nat

Not at; nor at.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 22, 2019

FAQs

What does "Nat" stand for?

"Nat" often stands for Network Address Translation, a method of remapping IP addresses.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

How is "Nat" pronounced?

"Nat" is pronounced as [nat], rhyming with "cat."
Huma Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Can "Nat" be a name?

Yes, "Nat" can be a short form or nickname for Nathan or Natalie.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Is "Nat" an acronym or initialism?

It can be an acronym when referring to Network Address Translation.
Janet White
Oct 13, 2023

Is "Nat" a common English word?

No, "Nat" is typically used in technical contexts related to networking.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Is "Pat" commonly used in English?

Yes, "Pat" is commonly used as both a name and a verb.
Sara Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Can "Nat" be plural?

No, "Nat" as an acronym isn’t used in a plural form.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

What does "Pat" mean?

"Pat" is both a verb meaning to lightly touch, and a common nickname for Patrick or Patricia.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

What is an example sentence with "Nat"?

"The router uses Nat to translate the private IP addresses to a public IP address."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

How do you spell "Nat"?

N-A-T
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

What is the verb form of "Pat"?

"To pat" means to touch something lightly and repeatedly.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

How do you use "Pat" in a sentence as a verb?

"She patted the dog gently on the head."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Can "Pat" be used metaphorically?

Yes, like in the expression “to have something down pat,” meaning to know something perfectly or thoroughly.
Harlon Moss
Oct 13, 2023

How do you spell "Pat"?

P-A-T
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Is "Nat" used in everyday conversation?

No, "Nat" is primarily used in specific, often technical, contexts.
Sara Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

How is "Pat" pronounced?

"Pat" is pronounced as [pat], rhyming with "cat."
Sara Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Is “Pat” an abbreviation?

Not typically, though "Pat" can be short for names like Patrick or Patricia.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Can "Nat" be used as a verb?

No, "Nat" is generally not used as a verb.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 13, 2023

Can "Pat" be a name?

Yes, "Pat" can be a short form or nickname for names like Patrick or Patricia.
Harlon Moss
Oct 13, 2023

Can "Pat" be an adjective?

Yes, “pat” can describe a timely or apt action, as in “a pat response.”
Aimie Carlson
Oct 13, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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