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Escaping Hostile Networks Nicely

All kinds of Internet communications are better done peer-to-peer because it means lower latency and lower bandwidth costs. Voice and video calls, games, file transfer and other applications all benefit from direct peer-to-peer data communication. However, network address translators often prevent computers from talking to each other directly.

Many programs implement ad-hoc NAT traversal mechanisms, but the time is right to make it easy for developers to add reliable peer-to-peer communications to their programs. Fortunately, a standard for NAT traversal is emerging called Interactive Connectivity Establishment. ICE provides a reliable method of traversing NATs whenever possible, while allowing relays to be used as a fallback, avoiding various security problems, and providing a clear upgrade path to IPv6. It can be used in conjunction with other NAT-related protocols including UPnP and NAT-PMP.

This talk describes why NATs are a problem, how ICE works, and where it has successfully been used. A free library implementating ICE, libnice, is presented. libnice is a GLib-based C library that includes support for the GStreamer media streaming framework.

Project: libnice 


Dafydd Harries

Dafydd's free software roots are in Debian and Gnome. He is employed by Collabora and primarily works on the Telepathy desktop communications framework. His computing interests include developing tools for better software development. Dafydd likes cycling.

Dafydd Harries

Dafydd's free software roots are in Debian and Gnome. He is employed by Collabora and primarily works on the Telepathy desktop communications framework. His computing interests include developing tools for better software development. Dafydd likes cycling.

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