I do see NAT getting pushed further and further out into the cloud, which can (and does) disconnect people from important places like work and home. At some point the frog is going to roast in the boiling water.
I had a public IPv6 discussion in australia recently. Click there for the full discussion. Let me reprint parts:
Two recent examples of NAT is BAD:
1) A friend of mine had a video monitoring system on his storefront in San Juan Del Sur. He was behind quadruple NAT—his own, and the wireless provider there (of the 8 or so ISPs there, only one provides real ip addresses). His house, 1km away, had a different provider, different NAT—SIP between the two locations never worked, he's never got a working vpn, and a few other difficulties like that—but the real kicker: One day—he got robbed—the perps stole everything—including some of the video monitoring system—and because he couldn't monitor his site from his house 1km away, he has no idea who it was.
2) I was trying to get universal internet access out to 26 barrios in a 40 mile wide area—so, for example, a teacher in one location could video out to multiple locations—but again, due to the all the service providers involved, doing NAT, proved utterly impossible.
I do remember a time, back in the 90s, when every computer on the Internet was a true peer of every other computer on the Internet. I wanted to communicate with someone? My communications went from me, to my computer, to their computer, to them. There was no third party like AOL or GMail arbitrating our conversation (I remember at the time, the IRM department at FAU wanted to control all email and at an interdepartmental meeting, about half the departments said “Hell no!”).
Gone are the days when I had a block of public IP addresses for my home
network (once in the 90s, and once just
a few years ago). Now, I have to decide which computer gets
ssh access from outside, and which gets HTTP access.
IPv6 looks to be a solution, bringing back true peer-to-peer communications, and the work Mike is doing is inspiring me to play around with IPv6 more than I have (which isn't all that much).
Well, that, and free porn …