Proxy and NAT are 2 commonly used terms when planning for protecting secured LAN environment in IT setups of organizations. While NAT alters the Local IP of end systems to Public IPs for communication over Internet, Proxy provides application level security to end systems and mitigates vulnerabilities which may directly affect the end systems.

Proxy functions upto layer 7 of OSI model whereas NAT functionality is limited to Layer 3 and 4.Proxy is meant to work at application level like HTTP and FTP while NAT is inclined towards hiding the private address in LAN and minimizing usage of Public IP addresses (Public IPs incur cost and are limited in number).

Below table provides detailed view of difference between Proxy and NAT –proxy-vs-nat


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