A proxy server operates by retrieving user queries and returning results. Server data can be regarded as an intermediary that provide Internet access for all computers located in a local network, and are responsible for security & privacy. A system administrator who is configuring a network connection may not assign a unique IP-address to each device, thus, creating an intricate system of address distribution for all connected devices.
Using this kind of systems generates issues and often involve expenses. Besides, a level of data protection in such LANs is far from perfect, and each connected device (PC or notebook) is an easy target for hackers and malware. Another challenge is a lack of centralized administration and the need of tracking of each specific device.
Besides, a server often requires installation of special software that route packets and report IP-addresses of its clients, as distinct from fully-featured proxies that hide it. Fortunately, this method is receding into the past.
Today, some routers can modify IP addresses. These devices are called NAT routers (the abbreviation stands for network address translation). Its core functionality is to modify an IP address while packet headers are in transit back to the client.
As distinguished from proxies, NAT routers is able to translate not only http, but also pop3, ftp, ssh, smtp, telnet and many other protocols.
Thus, NAT became the first software of this kind. The app is a sort of intermediary link or a transition from one method of local access architecture to another. NAT can be easily applied by any average Internet user without in-depth expertise in configuring of network connections. No complex parameters should be adjusted when configuring a network.
However, the specified benefits should not be considered as an invitation to use NAT, since this comprehensive proxy server cannot handle all minor functionalities of application protocols.