Let's say that the professional business router is connected to the Internet through the WAN port and has some devices in the office connected through the other ports.

The devices in the office building have internal IP addresses and only the router has an external IP address.

Can it be said that the router performs actual routing or only does NAT?

It does not seem that the router performs any routing at all.

The devices in the office have only internal IP addresses and inside the business there is no subnet, so the user only has one external IP address which is take by the router's external connection to the Internet?

So is it an exaggeration to say that a business router for an office is a router?

Do most business routers have the actual capability to even do routing or they can only do NAT?

  • Unfortunately, questions about home networking and consumer-grade devices are explicitly off-topic here. You could try to ask this question on Super User.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 11, 2017 at 20:16
  • @RonMaupin however this is a theoretical question not a configuration question. I believe that it fits in this site well.
    – yoyo_fun
    Feb 11, 2017 at 20:19
  • You are asking specifically about home routers, and those are consumer-grade equipment that is explicitly off-topic here.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 11, 2017 at 20:22

4 Answers 4


Of course it does, it route packets from A to B. Usually home routers only have a default route, but this doesn't mean that they don't route packets. Their routing table is just smaller with one default route and few directly connected interfaces.

  • So the NATing automatically implies routing ?
    – yoyo_fun
    Feb 11, 2017 at 18:58
  • NAT and routing are two diffrent things. If you move packet from LAN interface to WAN is still routing. Feb 11, 2017 at 18:59

Of course business routers route. A router routes between networks, so every interface on a router is in a different network, even logical interfaces you may have created while configuring the router.

NAT is something completely different. NAT is a kludge that was created to try to conserve IPv4 addresses until IPv6 becomes ubiquitous. NAT breaks the IP promise of a unique IP address for every device, and end-to-end connectivity.

WAN routers are often a convenient place to do NAT, but that is not always the case. Many businesses own blocks of public IPv4 addresses, and the WAN routers inside and outside addresses are public addresses, with NAT taking place on an internal firewall or proxy.

Most businesses probably have multiple networks on the inside of the business, and many have a mixture of public and private addressing.


yes, it does I encourage you to read private and public address space to get an idea on the need for NATing.

Basically when you send a packet from your host to the router its a part on NATing (if necessary). The router sends it to the web servers passing through various networks and geographical area. This uses routing protocols and is a part of routing. The server will respond to your packet and send it back to the router at your home. This is again routing. the router finally sends the received packet back to your host system using NAT if necessary.

NATing bacame necessary due to shortage of address space in IPv4 and happens on the LAN side of the network


Router is capable of doing both NATing and routing as well . Without any issue . Router performance is monitored regularly CPU , RAM. Disk capabilities .

Router operates in layer3 of network layer wheras NATing and routing capabilities are present in router .

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