I'm using a Mac Air with Virtualbox and Ubuntu 10.04. On the Network Adapter options, which setting is the fastest? Also, what are these settings used for, or their advantages and disadvantages?

  • NAT
  • Bridged Adapter
  • Internal Network
  • Host-only Adapter
  • Generic Driver
  • You should probably read the VirtualBox manual on networking (virtualbox.org/manual/ch06.html). I feel that this is off-topic here as it is not at all Ubuntu specific, even speed is probably more related to the OS/X implementation of VirtualBox than the host OS. – Javier Rivera Apr 11 '13 at 9:41
  • Okay, I will delete the question? What do you think? – Volomike Apr 11 '13 at 13:22
  • Wait a couple of days before deleting it, maybe I'm wrong and someone can give you some useful answer here. – Javier Rivera Apr 11 '13 at 21:56

These all behave very differently -- I don't think you should choose one over another because of speed. I suggest you use NAT. This will make your VM look like just another application on your host machine. The other possibility is Bridged Adapter, but that will require the VM to acquire it's own IP address which may be a problem in some environments.

  • I just switched to a bridged adapter -- man, much faster. – Volomike Apr 11 '13 at 13:26

The bridged adapter is fastest because it doesn't use the TCP/IP stack of the local computer host OS and goes direct to the net card, sharing your net card on the same computer, but using two different MAC addresses. Your NAT router from your cable or DSL modem will automatically give this adapter a separate IP address on DHCP.

Really the only other practical choice for doing work in the VM is the NAT Adapter, but then that means your OS is sharing its TCP/IP stack, which potentially could slow down the net connection. However, when I ran a test here at my house with both Bridged and NAT, going to speedtest.net and fast.com, the stats were identical. So, it's worth a test in your environment.

I want to add that in some hotel networks, you can't easily use the Bridged Adapter mode for some reason. I had to switch to NAT Adapter in order for it to work.

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