Fixing firewall rules in Windows when NAT’ing VMware Workstation 12 VMs

Posted by | November 28, 2015 | IT, Virtualization, VMware | No Comments

In the case of hosting VMs on VMware Workstation 12 using virtual NAT, you can’t access the machines even after forwarding your ports in the Virtual Network Configuration tool.
There’s a few ways to solve this:

– Use Bridged mode
This works, but you might not want to do so, for a multitude of reasons.

– Turn off the Windows Firewall
Or even better, don’t!

Now, allowing something through the firewall is super easy, obviously. But from what I could see online, people had trouble figuring out exactly what to allow through the firewall.
Unfortunately, the VMware NAT doesn’t show up anywhere in the firewall settings, so the file you’re looking for is “C:\Windows\SysWOW64\vmnat.exe”
So simply go to Inbound\Outbound rules, make a new “allow connection” rule, and add %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\vmnat.exe

Easy fix, but I saw enough people struggling with this to feel compelled to post about it.

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