While you may have not heard of it, NAT is omnipresent in modern networks, and can affect VoIP communications negatively.

What is it?

Network Address Translation (NAT) is a technique used by some network equipment that mangles network addresses. In the most usual deployments, it makes your whole network look like a single computer on the internet. This can bring all kinds of problems for people wishing to communicate through VoIP over the internet, since the computers cannot talk directly with each other.

Why does it exist?

NAT has gained a lot of traction in the last decades, and is used to mitigate the fact that there are not enough internet addresses for everyone.
Some people also derive some sense of security by using it – although the security mechanism in common deployments is entirely provided by a firewall, and that firewall can exist independently of the NAT mechanism.

What can we do about it?

First and foremost, we can (and should!) re-plan our networks to use IPv6, which solves this and many other problems. With that being said, migration to IPv6 can be hard and costly.

Collab solves most of the problems presented by NAT through the mean of OneSIPConnector. OneSIPConnector is deployed at the network edge, and corrects the packet content to reverse the damage done by NAT.
It does this through a variety of mechanisms, including cutting edge technology such as ICE.

OneSIPConnector can also perform a lot of other connectivity enhancing operations:

  • Protection against network attacks
  • WebRTC connectivity
  • Ensuring call content remains confidential over the internet (SSL, TLS, DTLS)
  • Mitigating network congestion
  • Allowing more efficient internal communication, through strict separation of authentication domains at the border

Image by Scott Swigard

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