When you install Workstation Player on a Windows or Linux host system, a host-only network (VMnet1) is set up for you. Host-only networking is useful if you need to set up an isolated virtual network. In a host-only network, the virtual machine and the host virtual network adapter are connected to a private Ethernet network. The network is completely contained within the host system.

The network connection between the virtual machine and the host system is provided by a virtual network adapter that is visible on the host operating system. The virtual DHCP server provides IP addresses on the host-only network.

Figure 1. Host-Only Networking Configuration
Network connection between a virtual machine and a host computer using a network adapter.

In the default configuration, a virtual machine in a host-only network cannot connect to the Internet. If you install the proper routing or proxy software on the host system, you can establish a connection between the host virtual network adapter and a physical network adapter on the host system to connect the virtual machine to a Token Ring or other non-Ethernet network.

On a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 host computer, you can use host-only networking in combination with the Internet connection sharing feature in Windows to allow a virtual machine to use the dial-up networking adapter or other connection to the Internet on the host system. See Microsoft documentation for information on configuring Internet connection sharing.