VirtualBox Network with Host Windows 7

Let’s see how we can setup VirtualBox network with host windows 7. VirtualBox can virtualize the following five types of networking hardware inside a virtual machine in VirtualBox.

  • AMD PCNet PCI II;
  • AMD PCNet FAST III (the default);
  • Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop;
  • Intel PRO/1000 T Server.
  • Intel PRO/1000 MT Server.

Also there are four types of network setup available in VirtualBox. Host’s  ( Windows 7 )network in this example will act according to network setup you select.

VirtualBox Network

1) Network Address Translation (NAT) is the simplest way of accessing an external network from a virtual machine. Usually, it does not require any configuration on the host network and guest system. For this reason, it is the default networking mode in VirtualBox. When NAT is configured, guest OS (Virtual machine) will get non routable IP address and it can communicate outside network though physical network adapter in windows 7 host.

2) Bridged Networking, VirtualBox uses a device driver on your host system that filters data from your physical network adapter. This allows VirtualBox to intercept data from the physical network and inject data into it, effectively creating a new network interface in software. When a guest is using such a new software interface, it looks to the host system as though the guest were physically connected to the interface using a network cable: the host can send data to the guest through that interface and receive data from it. This means that you can set up routing or bridging between the guest and the rest of your network. To enable this bridged networking you have to select the physical network card of windows 7 host computer as shown below.

VirtualBox Network

Then assign a IP address for guest virtual machine manually or automatically, which is in same network and subnet mask of host physical network. Then only, guest and host windows 7 will communicate thorough bridged network.

3) Internal Networking, is similar to bridged networking in that the VM can directly communicate with the outside world. However, the “outside world” is limited to other VMs which connect to the same internal network.

Virtualbox Bridged networking

This internal networking works with only virtual machines configured to internal network with same Name.

4) Host-only Networking is another networking mode that was added with version 2.2 of VirtualBox. It can be thought of as a hybrid between the bridged and internal networking modes: as with bridged networking, the virtual machines can talk to each other and the host as if they were connected through a physical Ethernet switch. Similarly, as with internal networking however, a physical networking interface need not be present and the virtual machines cannot talk to the world outside the host since they are not connected to a physical networking interface. This method will help to connect host and guest without connecting physical network. You can use this method to communicate with virtual machines where physically your host is not connected to any network. Good for Home users.

Above Network technologies in Sun virtual box explained in virtual box help. Also I added some comments and examples.

I’m sure this article explained enough about VirtualBox Networking with Host Windows 7 and make communication between guest and host.

Latest Sun Virtualbox came with a new feature where you can change above network settings when virtual machine is on without shutting down theme. Read more here….