A virtual machine in VMware Server, Workstation and Player can have virtual network cards that are "bridged", "NAT" or "host-only".
In Linux, a network of each type is created when running vmware-config.pl. In Windows, they are automatically created. If you didn't create them the first time vmware-config.pl was run, you can re-run it.
|Comparison of the network types
(Network Address Translation)
The VM appears as if it was
a physical host on the network.
|The VM hides behind the IP address of the VMware host. Other VMs in the same NAT network can access it directly.
||The VM can only access the VMware host and other VMs in the same host-only network
||The VM requires it's own IP address from the network it is supposed to belong to.
|The VM can have any private IP configured on the VMware host.
|Accessibility from network
||Same as a physical host
||Hides behind NAT, so port forwarding on the VMware host required if external access required
||Not accessible from external network unless routed via another VM with access to both external network and the same host-only network
|| An always-on server hosted on VMware, or a virtual router or firewall
|| VMs intended for testing, or cases when the amount of IP addresses in the external network is limited.
||VMs intended for testing with no need to access the network, or VMs which will be protected by a firewall in another VM.
||Known to have problems with some wireless chipsets especially with Linux, also with Windows Vista.
||NAT is really a host-only network with a default gateway (on the VMware host) that routes and NATs.
In Windows Workstation, the networks can be edited from Edit -> Virtual Network Settings, which displays the following view: