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NAT/Route Mode vs. Transparent Mode

A FortiGate can operate in one of two modes: NAT/Route or Transparent.

In NAT/Route mode, the most common operating mode, a FortiGate is installed as a gateway or router between two networks. In most cases, it is used between a private network and the Internet. This allows the FortiGate to hide the IP addresses of the private network using network address translation (NAT). NAT/Route mode is also used when two or more Internet service providers (ISPs) will provide the FortiGate with redundant Internet connections.

A FortiGate in Transparent mode is installed between the internal network and the router. In this mode, the FortiGate does not make any changes to IP addresses and only applies security scanning to traffic. When a FortiGate is added to a network in Transparent mode, no network changes are required, except to provide the FortiGate with a management IP address. Transparent mode is used primarily when there is a need to increase network protection but changing the configuration of the network itself is impractical.

For more information about Transparent Mode, see the Transparent Mode handbook.