Why so many servers?

Daniel Feldman dfeldman.mn at gmail.com
Thu May 7 05:44:05 UTC 2020

Way back in the mid-2000s, there was this idea that applications on
the network could request holes in the firewall programmatically so
they could do peer-to-peer connections through a protocol called UPnP.
It never really took off, although your home router still probably has
some version of it. Instead, STUN took off which is a hackier way to
trick the firewall to allowing P2P connections and is still around.

In 2020, overlay networks like Nebula, ZeroTier, and Tailscale are
really taking off. They give every device its own address on an
encrypted private network (similar to a VPN but with no central
server), and you can run normal applications through TCP connections
over that overlay network. This has a lot of similarities to P2P but
is more practical for businesses. Something to think about.

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