What is Azure NAT Gateway

Azure NAT Gateway emerges as a vital component for enabling outbound internet connectivity in Azure virtual networks. Designed to provide network address translation (NAT) capabilities, Azure NAT Gateway facilitates secure and controlled communication between resources within a virtual network and the internet. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Azure NAT Gateway, exploring its features, use cases, benefits, and providing insights to help you harness its full potential for your Azure deployments.

Understanding Azure NAT Gateway

Azure NAT Gateway is a managed networking service that allows Azure virtual machines (VMs) within a virtual network (VNet) to initiate outbound connectivity to the internet, while preventing inbound internet connectivity to those VMs. It acts as a middleman between resources in the VNet and the internet, translating internal IP addresses to a public IP address when accessing internet resources.

Features of Azure NAT Gateway

  1. Outbound Internet Connectivity: Azure NAT Gateway provides outbound internet connectivity for resources within a VNet, allowing them to access internet-based services and resources securely.
  2. Source Network Address Translation (SNAT): It performs source NAT for outbound traffic, translating the private IP addresses of resources to the public IP address of the NAT Gateway.
  3. High Availability: Azure NAT Gateway is designed for high availability, with built-in redundancy and automatic failover to ensure reliable connectivity.
  4. Scalability: It automatically scales to accommodate increasing traffic demands, ensuring optimal performance and throughput.

Use Cases of Azure NAT Gateway

  1. Internet Access for VMs: Azure NAT Gateway enables VMs deployed within a VNet to access internet-based services such as software updates, patches, and external APIs.
  2. Hybrid Cloud Connectivity: It facilitates outbound communication from Azure resources to on-premises networks or other cloud environments, enabling hybrid cloud scenarios.
  3. Secure Internet Access: Azure NAT Gateway helps enforce network security policies by limiting inbound internet traffic to VMs while allowing controlled outbound connectivity.
  4. Internet-based Workloads: It supports scenarios where internet-facing applications or services hosted within a VNet require outbound internet connectivity for communication with external clients or services.

Benefits of Azure NAT Gateway

  1. Enhanced Security: By restricting inbound internet traffic to VMs, Azure NAT Gateway helps mitigate the risk of unauthorized access and potential security threats.
  2. Simplified Network Configuration: Azure NAT Gateway eliminates the need for complex network address translation configurations on individual VMs, streamlining network management and administration.
  3. Improved Performance: With automatic scaling and high availability, Azure NAT Gateway ensures consistent performance and reliability, even during periods of increased traffic.
  4. Cost-Effective: Azure NAT Gateway offers predictable pricing based on the number of concurrent connections, making it a cost-effective solution for outbound internet connectivity in Azure environments.

How to create NAT Gateway in Azure

Creating a NAT Gateway in Azure involves several steps to enable outbound internet connectivity for resources within a virtual network. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up a NAT Gateway:

Step 1: Navigate to the Azure Portal

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal using your credentials.
  2. Navigate to the “Create a resource” option in the Azure portal dashboard.

Step 2: Search for NAT Gateway

  1. In the search bar, type “NAT Gateway” to find the NAT Gateway service.
  2. Select “NAT Gateway” from the search results to begin the configuration process.

Step 3: Configure NAT Gateway Settings

  1. On the NAT Gateway configuration page, click on “Create” to start the setup process.
  2. Provide the necessary details, such as subscription, resource group, and region.
  3. Enter a name for the NAT Gateway and choose the virtual network where it will be deployed.

Step 4: Configure IP Addresses

  1. Choose the public IP address configuration for the NAT Gateway.
  2. Select an existing public IP address or create a new one.
  3. Optionally, configure the number of IP addresses for the NAT Gateway.

Step 5: Review and Create

  1. Review the configuration settings to ensure they meet your requirements.
  2. Click on “Review + create” to validate the configuration.
  3. Once validation is successful, click on “Create” to deploy the NAT Gateway.

Step 6: Monitor Deployment

  1. Monitor the deployment progress in the Azure portal.
  2. Once the deployment is complete, navigate to the NAT Gateway resource to verify its status and configuration.

Step 7: Configure Route Tables

  1. Update the route tables for the subnets that require outbound internet connectivity.
  2. Add a route to the NAT Gateway in the route table, directing traffic destined for the internet to the NAT Gateway.

Step 8: Test Connectivity

  1. Deploy virtual machines or other resources within the virtual network.
  2. Verify that the resources can access the internet by testing outbound connectivity to external websites or services.

Step 9: Configure Network Security Groups (NSGs)

  1. Optionally, configure network security groups (NSGs) to control inbound and outbound traffic to the resources.
  2. Define rules to allow or deny traffic based on source and destination IP addresses, ports, and protocols.

Step 10: Monitor and Troubleshoot

  1. Monitor the NAT Gateway for performance and usage metrics in the Azure portal.
  2. Use Azure Monitor and diagnostic logs to troubleshoot any connectivity issues or errors.

By following these steps, you can successfully create a NAT Gateway in Azure and enable outbound internet connectivity for resources within your virtual network.

External Resources

To further explore Azure NAT Gateway and its capabilities, here are some useful external links:

FAQs About Azure NAT Gateway

Q: Can Azure NAT Gateway be used for inbound traffic?

A: No, Azure NAT Gateway is designed specifically for outbound internet connectivity. It does not support inbound internet traffic or inbound port forwarding.

Q: How does Azure NAT Gateway differ from Azure Firewall?

A: Azure NAT Gateway provides outbound internet connectivity for resources within a VNet, while Azure Firewall is a fully stateful firewall as a service that provides inbound and outbound traffic filtering and protection for VNets.

Q: What are the pricing considerations for Azure NAT Gateway?

A: Azure NAT Gateway pricing is based on the number of NAT rules and the number of concurrent connections. You can refer to the Azure pricing page for detailed pricing information.

Q: Can I use Azure NAT Gateway with virtual networks deployed in different Azure regions?

A: No, Azure NAT Gateway is region-specific and can only be deployed within the same Azure region as the virtual network.


Azure NAT Gateway serves as a crucial component for enabling outbound internet connectivity in Azure virtual networks, offering enhanced security, scalability, and performance. By understanding its features, use cases, and benefits, organizations can leverage Azure NAT Gateway to facilitate secure and controlled communication between Azure resources and the internet, driving innovation and success in their Azure deployments.