Network Address Translation (NAT) at USF

Image of email user

USF is running low on public Internet addresses (IP address space). In response, Information Technology Communications is beginning to implement Network Address Translation (NAT) and private addressing for our open-use networks including the Residence Halls and Wireless Networks. This technology allows several computers to share one public Internet address at the same time.

How does this Affect You?

If you have ever used your computer at home behind a cable/DSL router and had IP addresses of the form 10.0.x.x or 192.168.x.x, then you've used a network that employed NAT. For web surfing, streaming media, file downloading, chat, gaming and most other common tasks, NAT is transparent to you. You will never know it's even being used.

However, if you connect to your computer remotely from off-campus (via remote desktop, VNC, etc.) then NAT will make this difficult. It prevents inbound connections to your computer. From a security perspective, this is a good thing, since it helps isolate your PC from a lot of the viruses and worms that plague the Internet.

There are a few options for those who need direct access to their residence hall computer from off-campus. Services like GoToMyPC (gotomypc.com) offer alternatives for users in NAT environments. You can also use USF's VPN client to connect to the campus network and then access your computer using your computer's 10.247.x.x address. Finally, if you are using wireless, you can use the USF-GOLD network which will not be NATed.

Xbox Problems

Some game consoles, most notably the XBox, can have trouble operating through NAT. If you are affected by this, please visit our Game Console Registration page.

If you encounter difficulties relating to NAT, please contact the Information Technology Helpdesk at (813) 974-1222 for assistance.