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NAT usage in Residential Broadband Networks
Citation key MSF-NATURBN-11
Author Maier, Gregor and Schneider, Fabian and Feldmann, Anja
Title of Book Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Passive and Active Network Measurement (PAM '11)
Pages 32–41
Year 2011
ISBN 978-3-642-19259-3
ISSN 0302-9743
Online ISSN 1611-3349
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-19260-9_4
Location Atlanta, GA, USA
Address Berlin / Heidelberg, Germany
Volume 6579
Editor Spring, Neil and Riley, George F.
Publisher Springer
Series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Abstract Many Internet customers use network address translation (NAT) when connecting to the Internet. To understand the extend of NAT usage and its implications, we explore NAT usage in residential broadband networks based on observations from more than 20,000 DSL lines. We present a unique approach for detecting the presence of NAT and for estimating the number of hosts connected behind a NAT gateway using IP TTLs and HTTP user-agent strings. Furthermore, we study when each of the multiple hosts behind a single NAT gateway is active. This enables us to detect simultaneous use. In addition, we evaluate the accuracy of NAT analysis techniques when fewer information is available. We find that more than 90\% of DSL lines use NAT gateways to connect to the Internet and that 10\% of DSL lines have multiple hosts that are active at the same time. Overall, up to 52\% of lines have multiple hosts. Our findings point out that using IPs as host identifiers may introduce substantial errors and therefore should be used with caution.
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