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UDP, or better still SCTP, would be a far better protocol for this use case; having said that there are legacy issues with NAT, protocol support (e.g. IMAP, websockets). Having said that multi-homing is coming down the pipeline, the real pity is that the devices that could most benefit from it, mobile computing, largely refuse to support it; i.e. iOS and Android. Maybe pushing the firefox guys to support SCTP on their OS / websockets implementation would force the other parties to the table... Maybe a user space implementation on top of UDP would be the way to go.

I think the problem with UDP is all the people who think that NAT is a perfectly valid firewall/use case and not a hack.

Agreed a serious "real world" problem. having said that people are working on it. I have a search around earlier and found there is a draft RFC for the UDP encapsulation of SCTP (http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-tsvwg-sctp-udp-encaps-...), this combined with a soul destroying use of a zero data payload keep alive to fend off NAT stupidity, and maybe a server side end point abuse of port 53 to keep "Carrier Grade" NAT quiet might be the trick. All this should work on mobile platforms.

In general doing this "properly" is an exercise in icky compromise.

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