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I have a Virtualbox VM running on a computer connected to Internet via an Ethernet cable. The guest has a network adapter attached to a NAT. 2 ports (22 and 80) are forwarded so that the host can access them respectively on localhost:2222 and localhost:8080.

When the Ethernet cable is plugged, both machine (host and guest) can access Internet and the host can access the SSH server/Webserver which ports are forwarded.

When I unplug the Ethernet cable from the host, the host can not access the SSH server/Webserver of the guest anymore. Same situation with a Laptop connected to Internet via wireless when I disable the wireless adapter or set a wrong WPA key.

My question is: is there a workaround for the host to access the guest services even if its Ethernet cable is unplugged / wireless is not available?

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You can create a host-only interface, and assign IP addresses (one for host, and one for guest) and communicate via those addresses. It will be equal to having another ethernet card in your machines and a direct cable connection between them

more info

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  • The host-only interface is solving the issue for the connection between host and guest. I have added a second network adapter (NAT) for the guest to have an access to Internet because a host-only interface does not provide access to the outside. If the Ethernet cable is unplugged, the guest loses the access to Internet, but the host can still communicate with the guest. Thank you again Mulaz!
    – uloBasEI
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:41
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If no physical network adapter is connected, ethernet or WiFi, the host is not connected to any network even though a host only adapter is present and configured correctly. Windows 10 reports not connected to any network. The guest OS has no problems connecting to the host OS though. It is connected. ipconfig does not report the media state of the host only network on both the host and guest.

I have found that it is the network discovery on Windows 10 that is switched off therefore the host's explorer will not find the guest but when typing in guest machine name into the address bar then guest is found. A pity, but at least there is a work around.

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