To share the host's network access (including internet) to a virtual machine you can use any of
the 3 adapter types, but NAT is the simplest.
Remember you can attach, and unattach virtul hardware so
make sure to check the connected, and connected at startup boxes for your virtual network adapter. If you
don't know which to use, start with NAT, and see if it meets your needs.
VMware Player uses 3 virtual switches by default, but more can be created. For Windows hosts the max
number of virtual switches is 20, on Linux hosts the max is 255. The number of virtual adapters
that can be connected to any given switch is 32 on Linux systems; there is no limit on Windows systems.
VMnet0 is for NAT connections, VMnet8 is for bridged connections, and VMnet1 is for host-only
NAT connections mean that your VM will get a unique IP on the virtual network, but not on your
host network. For NAT connections "vmnat.exe" is used so make sure it's not blocked by your host's
firewall. NAT connections are good for providing the guest with internet access, and for providing
you host with access to webservers you've setup in a virtual machine that you only intend to access
using that host.
Bridged connections mean that your VM will get a unique IP on the host network. Remember though,
this computer's connection will pass through the host machine so your host's firewall must be
setup not to block the VM's connection. I believe VMware Player uses "vmnetbridge.sys" for bridged
connections. Bridged connections are useful if you need to provide internet
to your virtual machine, or host virtual webservers that you want to access from any computer on the
A host only connection is intended to provide only a private connection between the host, and the guest.
However you can configure your host to share internet access the same way you would if you'd connected 2
real computers with a lan cable. Remember host only will use vmnet1 switch by default, but you can use
custom if you'd like
to use a different virtual switch. You can find instructions about I.C.S. (Internet Connection Sharing)
here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/using-internet-connection-sharing#1TC=windows-7. I can't
help you with that as I have rarely been successful sharing internet between computers (real or virtual). If you're wondering what a LAN segment is, it's just when a host only virtual adapter is shared between multiple virtual machines. A host only network connection is useful when you don't need internet in the guest, or when you want more control over providing internet access to the guest. It's also great for virtual machines you are using a webservers that you intend to access only from the host.