When you install Workstation on a Windows or Linux host system, a bridged network (VMnet0) is set up for you. Bridged networking connects a virtual machine to a network by using the network adapter on the host system. If the host system is on a network, bridged networking is often the easiest way to give the virtual machine access to that network.

With bridged networking, the virtual network adapter in the virtual machine connects to a physical network adapter in the host system. The host network adapter enables the virtual machine to connect to the LAN that the host system uses. Bridged networking works with both wired and wireless host network adapters.

Bridged networking configures the virtual machine as a unique identity on the network, separate from and unrelated to the host system. The virtual machine is a full participant in the network. It has access to other machines on the network, and other machines on the network can contact it as if it were a physical computer on the network.

Bridged Networking Configuration
Virtual machine with a virtual network adapter connected to a physical network adapter through a virtual bridge.

You can view and change the settings for bridged networking on the host system, determine which network adapters to use for bridged networking, and map specific host network adapters to specific virtual switches.

A virtual machine must have its own identity on a bridged network. For example, on a TCP/IP network, the virtual machine needs its own IP address. Your network administrator can tell you whether IP addresses are available for virtual machines and which networking settings to use in the guest operating system.

When you install Workstation on a Windows or Linux host system, a bridged network (VMnet0) is set up for you. If you install Workstation on a host system that has multiple network adapters, you can configure multiple bridged networks.

You can configure bridged networking for an existing virtual machine.

By default, VMnet0 is set to use auto-bridging mode and is configured to bridge to all active network adapters on the host system. You can use the virtual network editor to change VMnet0 to bridge to one specific host network adapter, or restrict the host network adapters that VMnet0 auto-bridges to. The changes you make affect all virtual machines that use bridged networking on the host system.