The ability to configure the VMware NAT settings, for example, to forward port 80 traffic to the VM, I had thought to be a feature reserved for the paid-for Workstation version. Port forwarding is useful, for example, if you are running a web server or web app in your VM and you want to see it break in Internet Explorer in the host OS.
However, this is not the case — the configuration tool is included in Player but not installed by default.
I found this tip by "todster" after Googling around for a bit:
Here is his solution:
For those that use the player or won't because of the network config or actually lack of, Vmnetcfg is actually included in the vmplayer installer only it isn't installed.
To extract vmnetcfg.exe from the installer do the following:
1. Run the installer with /e option. For example: VMware-player-3.0.0-197124.exe /e .\extract Contents will be extracted to “extract” folder.
2. Open “network.cab” and copy vmnetcfg.exe to your installation folder,typically C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player\After you do this, you can run vmnetcfg and set your port forwarding rules to forward traffic into your VM.
Happy port forwarding!
UPDATE: This trick doesn't seem to work on VMware Player 5. Oh well.