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Home > Gaming & Streaming > How do I get better NAT?
How do I get better NAT? print icon

What is NAT?

NAT or network address translation is a networking tool that is used to make the internet work. Currently, most of the internet uses the older IPv4 addresses (i.e. 192.168.0.1). Which has worked for a very long time. The problem is there are only 4 billion unique IPv4 addresses available. In a perfect world, every single device in the world would have a unique IP address. But IPv4 just doesn't have the address space (4 billion) to do that. IPv6 does just this (IPv6 address: fdcc:38df:8324:1000:747b:b88:edf9:9ee5 ). And one day in the distant future every device will have its own IPv6 address. Removing the need for NAT all together.

 

So what does this have to do with NAT?

 

Since not every device can have its own IPv4 address because there just aren't enough addresses, a workaround has to be used. To work around this every router that connects to the internet (like your home router) get's one of those 4 billion public IPv4 addresses. Then NAT adds a unique port number to a private IP address (192.168.0.1, 172.16.0.1, 10.0.0.1). Basically allowing for a private network of a few devices (for home use) or thousands (like this campus) to connect to the internet with just one Public IPv4 address. This entire process is what NAT is.

 

So what does this have to do with my device saying I have a strict/closed NAT type?

 

Basically you are sharing the bandwidth and a single Public IPv4 address with the entire campus. So all the phones, computers, and gaming consoles are all using 1 IPv4 address. So NAT has to take over and make sure everyone gets a unique port number. But for gaming, this can sometimes cause a problem. Here is a chart that explains how you can play online with different NAT types: 
What is NAT, and why should I care about it? – The Behemoth - Support

 

If you were at your house and you were the only one in your house with an Xbox you could work around this by having UPnP (universal plug and play) or Port Forward your Xbox on your personal router. These solutions could give you an open NAT and you could play with anyone! (As the chart shows.)

 

But since you are sharing the network with 100s of other Xboxes, Playstations, and other gaming systems. There is no way to make 1 Public IPv4 address port forward to your specific console because that would not be fair to everyone else!

 

So what can be done about all of this?

Currently, nothing can be done. You may experience problems paying with friends even on campus because of NAT issues. We are working on possible solutions to make the whole gaming experience better, including Open NAT, and IPv6. But until that day comes, your gaming NAT experience will be moderate (Xbox), type 2 (play station).

 

As always if you run into any issues please let us know!

 

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