Enable NAT Traversal : What does it do?

I have looked into the documentation, but couldn’t find too much on what “Enable NAT Traversal” actually does.

There is 2.10. Firewall Setup which describes how to set up NAT traversal manually without NAT Traversal being enabled.

Then there is 2.13. SSH Tunneling which describes connectivity through a SSH tunnel with NAT traversal explicitly disabled.

On this forum there is a thread “Disable UPnP instructions” in which Jakob Borg says: “UPnP (and PMP) are controlled by the “Enable NAT Traversal” checkbox in settings, …”

So is that it. Is “Enable NAT Traversal” really just switch for UPnP and NAT-PMP and nothing else?!?

I have UPnP and NAT-PMP disabled on all of my routers, since UPnP has been identified many times (since 2013) as a security risk in private networks. So I assume I can happily switch “Enable NAT Traversal” off without noticing any difference.

At this point I have to ask why this feature was implemented as “Enable NAT Traversal” and not as “Enable UPnP”? Isn’t it simpler for everyone if it just says on the tin, what’s inside?!

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It does what it says on the tin. UPnP and NAT-PMP port mappings are both NAT traversal techniques. It could say “Enable UPnP and NAT-PMP port mappings” but that’s longer, more technical, less clear in what the purpose is, and requires updating if we add further techniques.

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Thank you for the clarification, Jakob.

I just wanted to be sure that (currently) there is not any wizardry hidden behind the “Enable NAT Traversal” other than UPnP and NAT-PMP and thus, if your networks/routers do not support either UPnP or NAT-PMP, then “Enable NAT Traversal” can be disabled without any loss of functionality.

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