Carrier Grade NAT – obfuscating the internet experience!!!

Yes, the lack of support for IPv6 will, in time, create many headaches and end-user experiences. Since the transition to IPv6 affects anything and everything that is “online”, we have a supply chain (if you will) that is not cohesive enough to count on (content providers, backbone carriers, ISPs and more are connected to give you your internet experience) – meaning: you need to ensure you are IPv6 compatible.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a Net Eng, but you do need to ask if your home, office, enterprise is ready for IPv6 – the ISP won’t just “fix it for you”…in fact, they are prepping to put a larger band aid on temporarily – this is Carrier Grade NAT (Network Address Translation).

Carrier Grade NAT is what ISPs will do to prolong v4 utilization (and why NAT was invented in the first place) – what this means, however, is that many functions built into our user experience (like geo-location) will no longer work once this patch is implemented (and it is being tested as we speak).

Today, most of us use NAT in our homes (we may just not realize this) – your ISP hands your home gateway a real, public IP…then typically your home gateway is either a router itself that performs DHCP (dynamically assigns “fake” addresses: 192.168.xxxx.xxx) or you connect to one like a wireless base station…in affect, all devices behind the “real IP” address are hidden…now imagine if your ISP did this to all of its end users in say…northern California. This means that any application that counts on IP information to better tune your experience for it could tell that where your home gateway was since it had a real IP address will no longer function – so your searches for example will no longer be as specific. Sure, this is temporary, but is indicative of the KNOWN issues that will arise – I am sure that there will be more that are unknown.

All in all, IPv6 is something that everyone should know to ask about – you don’t need to know how it works just that any new technology you buy that you want to access the internet should be v6 compatible!

Flattening the Internet – what does that mean?

Full disclosure – I am not a network engineer (I am sure those that are can easily tell!!) – I do spend a lot of time with some of the best out there however and something I learned the other day was that the v4 concept of Network Address Translation (NAT) was a “stop gap” intended to extend the lifespan of v4 space – it was not an end unto itself!!

Now, one might ask (for I did): what does that mean?

Well, imagine a world where all things connected on line had a unique IP address (v6 enables that) – this was, incidentally how internet was envisioned at first – that means no more setting up NAT, you’ll have point to point communications without having to alter packets with NAT – this means a “flatter” architecture to Internet at large, a faster internet and far more flexibility and ease of deployment…

What else have you seen that will be reset as v6 is adopted?