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P2PWG NAT/Firewall Working Committee Charter

The P2PWG NAT/Firewall working committee's charter is to research and analyze P2P communication and interoperability problems and issues caused by NATs and firewalls and to recommend best practices for traversal technology and policy.

NATs and Firewalls Defined

A network address translator, or NAT, is a device that sits between two network domains and maps addresses from one network domain to another. NATs are often used for sharing Internet Protocol address resources. A firewall is a security mechanism that selectively filters - i.e. passes or drops -- network packets entering or leaving a network. The improved resource utilization, resource obscurity, and security afforded by these devices, however, often impedes bi-directional discovery and communications between peers.

NAT/Firewall Working Committee Activities

Currently the working committee is conducting a survey and analysis of NAT/Firewall issues affecting P2P bi-directional communication as well as potential technology and policy solutions. Based on this work, the committee is formulating recommendations that encompass short-term and long-term strategies to address these issues, including legacy system support. Recommendations are partitioned to address the diverse concerns in the Small Office, Home Office (SOHO) and consumer (unmanaged network) space as well as the enterprise (managed network) space. When appropriate, the working committee will also facilitate the development of technology and policy best-known practices in an industry influencer role, such as recommendations to the Universal Plug and Play Forum (UPnP(tm) www.upnp.org ) or The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF www.ietf.org ) working committees.



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