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!

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