VMWare and VirtualBox - The different modes of VMWare network

October 2016

There are three different modes of VMWare network that can be used. After creating a virtual machine with VMWare, there are three types of connectivity which can be used. Without the actual hardware, it is not possible to use all the three different modes of the VMWare network. The Visualbox virtualisation software can be used to provide greater network functionality on a virtual machine. The virtualisation software provides five network modes including the NAT mode and the Bridge mode. Virtual machines can communicate with each other through the host machine completely. The configurations for the network mode which is in use should be correct.

Note 1

When you create a virtual machine using VMWare, 3 types of connectivity are available: host-only, NAT and bridged.

You can't use NAT and bridged modes if you do not have certain physical equipment - such as a LAN, Hub, Switch, and Ethernet ADSL modem - connected to your Ethernet port.

Note 2

You can use the host-only mode to install a proxy (eg HTTP) on the host machine to share its Internet connection. For example, Freeproxy Proxomitron or Windows.


VirtualBox is a free virtualization software based upon VMWare. It has 5 network modes:
  • Unattached - equivalent to an Ethernet interface on which no cable is connected
  • NAT - like NAT VMWare
  • Network adapter host - like host-only VMWare, except VirtualBox does not provide a DHCP server on the VPN. You need to configure IP addresses manually or use a DHCP server on your physical host machine
  • Internal network - like bridged VMWare
  • Bridge (or "access bridge") - also like bridged VMWare
    • Virtual machines can communicate fully with each other through the host machine

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