STUN, TURN, and ICE

AnyConnect pioneered the STUN, TURN, and ICE NAT Traversal protocols.

Routers create problems

The router remaps your home device IP address to a public IP address typically provided by your internet service provider.

NAT, PAT, and IP masquerading are ubiquitous. They’ve been essential to Internet growth by enabling:

  • IP address space expansion
  • Network management
  • Network security
Routers create problems
NAT
NAT

Network Address Translation (NAT) is a technique by which a router remaps a public IP address space into a private IP address space by translating IP addresses in packet headers without altering packet contents. NATs forward solicited packets to their destinations, and discard unsolicited packets.

PAT

Similarly, Port Address Translation (PAT) is a technique by which a router remaps a public port space into a private port space by modifying port numbers in packet headers without altering packet contents.

IP Masquerading

NAT and PAT (together, NAPT) enable IP masquerading, a technique by which many devices share a single public IP address.

I can access a website, but I can’t make a video call.

NATs support device-to-server connections for services like email and web browsing, because email and web servers have public or port-forwarded IP addresses capable of receiving unsolicited packets to initiate connections from devices, and because NATs forward solicited packets to their destinations.

View a web page
1a. Initiate request from behind a NAT.
1b. NAT maps the device IP address to a public IP address and forwards the request to a public server.
2. Public server responds with data packets.
3. NAT forwards the response to the device.
Viewing a webpage

However, NATs break device-to-device connections for services like IoT, home automation, and video telephony, because when 2 devices are behind different NATs, neither NAT will forward unsolicited packets from the other, which prevents one device from initiating a connection to another.

Make a video call
1a. Initiate request from behind a NAT
1b. NAT maps the device IP address to a public IP address and forwards the request to the peer device. The request hits a NAT at the receiving end. This unsolicited request is blocked by the receiving NAT.
Making a video call

STUN, TURN, and ICE

In the world of IP communications, devices trying to connect, i.e. make a call over the internet are known as endpoints. Typically, endpoints reside behind NATs and hence it is difficult to discover the public IP addresses of endpoints. The endpoint initiating a call is known as the caller. The endpoint receiving the call is known as the callee.

STUN

Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN) protocol enables a device to discover its public IP address.

If the public IP address of both the caller and callee is discovered it is possible to establish a direct connection between the caller and callee, typically known as a peer-to-peer call.

AnyConnect’s STUN solution provides 95% peer-to-peer connectivity, the best in the industry.

TURN

Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) protocol enables a server to relay data packets between devices.

If the public IP address of both the caller and callee is not discovered, TURN provides a fallback technique to relay the call between endpoints.

The frequency of TURN cases with AnyConnect’s TURN solution is estimated to be under 5%.

ICE

Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) protocol enables devices to communicate its public IP address and connect to other devices.

AnyConnect’s ICE solution is optimized for best connection setup time and least latency in the industry

NAT Traversal

NAT Traversal is a computer networking methodology which establishes and maintains device-to-device connections across routers that implement NAT. NAT Traversal is required for network applications that require device-to-device connections, such as file sharing, VoIP and video telephony, and IoT.

Following open standard protocols.
  • RFC 5245 – Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT) Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols
  • RFC 5389 – Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5766 –Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN): Relay Extensions to Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5768 – Indicating Support for Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
  • RFC 5928 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Resolution Mechanism
  • RFC 6062 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Extensions for TCP Allocations
  • RFC 6156 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Extension for IPv6
  • RFC 6336 – IANA Registry for Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) Options
  • RFC 6544 – TCP Candidates with Interactive Connectivity Establishment

 

STUN, TURN, and ICE have been adopted by the following standards bodies:
  • RFC 5245 – Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT) Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols
  • RFC 5389 – Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5766 –Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN): Relay Extensions to Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5768 – Indicating Support for Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
  • RFC 5928 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Resolution Mechanism
  • RFC 6062 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Extensions for TCP Allocations
  • RFC 6156 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Extension for IPv6
  • RFC 6336 – IANA Registry for Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) Options
  • RFC 6544 – TCP Candidates with Interactive Connectivity Establishment

 

Patents in multiple countries.
  • RFC 5245 – Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT) Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols
  • RFC 5389 – Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5766 –Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN): Relay Extensions to Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)
  • RFC 5768 – Indicating Support for Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
  • RFC 5928 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Resolution Mechanism
  • RFC 6062 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Extensions for TCP Allocations
  • RFC 6156 – Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) Extension for IPv6
  • RFC 6336 – IANA Registry for Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) Options
  • RFC 6544 – TCP Candidates with Interactive Connectivity Establishment

Start building your IoT Video devices with us.