IPv6 The Next Generation - Gotta Love Dat NAT
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As far as the advantages of NAT are concerned, Campbell refers to them as “upsides.” One of the most obvious would be that it allows companies, or any group of people with hundreds of users, to reach the Internet. It's extremely unlikely a company would be able to get that many public addresses, so really NAT “should be regarded as one of the best networking technologies ever created.”
As a result, several ISPs came into existence with the ability to provide more service than if there were only public addressing. Many broadband subscribers also use private IP addresses, allowing for millions of individual residential users to gain Internet access. So it's easy to see how NAT has allowed the Internet to grow. And we don't have to go into how influential the Internet has been to society overall.
On the other hand, it did prevent a faster adoption of IPv6. But if you think about it, would we really have been ready for IPv6 five years ago? At least with NAT, we will be given the necessary time (perhaps more than necessary) to safeguard a successful conversion to IPv6.
And according to Campbell, “the transition to IPv6 and the temporary (indefinite?) coexistence with IPv4 will require the use of translation-based transition mechanisms.” Meaning NAT will still be around, at least for a little while. So don't get all emotional just yet.
Even so, now that you've completed nerd level 4 of 4, you're probably counting the days until we've made the full switch over from IPv4 to IPv6. Don't make any bets as to when the full process will be complete and IPv4 will vanish. It's taken us this long to get this far, after all. Nevertheless, it's probably inevitable, just like the end of this article.
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