I almost titled this post “Symmetric NAT considered harmful", except I promised myself I’d never title something “considered harmful." It seems like the number of consumer-level routers on the market that implement symmetric NAT (endpoint-dependent mapping) has been rising in recent years. This paper puts it as high as 16% in 2010 (with another 14% blocking UDP traffic, which, while tangential to this post, is really disappointing). RFC 4787 (Network Address Translation (NAT) Behavioral Requirements for Unicast UDP) is the “Best Common Practices” document regarding developing NAT devices and how they should behave.
Today at 17:00, I will be the proud owner of not one, but two internet connections. I’ve been a Broadstripe customer for the last few years, and the service has been absolutely terrible. Sadly, because cable companies refuse to compete with each other, Broadstripe was my only option for DOCSIS broadband. When we moved in to our house, we had Qwest DSL (now CenturyLink), but it was also terrible: at the time, we were paying for 7mbps, their highest speed, and getting maybe 3mbps on a good day despite several service calls.