There’s no place like ::1

With the move of house, comes a lot of other movements of technology. At the old place, I was on Virgin Media’s Broadband, Although I did not have any problems with them, I do know people that had more than their fair share. I think in the course of 2 years my line went down for a total of 2 minutes, and I think that’s fairly acceptable. However, it lacks on some features. Dynamic IPv4 address (and only 1) means I had to write some rather complex scripts, due to my server blocking SSH access from anywhere unless it’s a “Known Location”. These locations normally consist of my place of work, my place of home, and my parents houses for when I visit them.

Although IPv4 is being exhausted, many people are still using it, in fact, pretty much everyone on the Internet is using IPv4 in one way or another. For me, my new connection has a /28 mask of address’s, call me selfish, but this does give all my machines external IP’s, and then I’m NAT-ing Wifi connections, because they don’t need external address’s. It also has Native IPv6 on the new line. there is still very much a case of “No one’s using IPv6 so we don’t support it” and also “many things still don’t support it, so I don’t have IPv6″. In my 2 years working at Dyalog, I have moved our internal systems to IPv6, and so far 50% of our servers are on IPv6. The interpreter received it’s required changes to support IPv6 in version 12, and some of these will be improved in 12.1, and this improvement will most likely be on-going.

So, to IPv6, and who supports it? well, Google have had IPv6 work going on for a long time now, and you have been able to access to run your web searches. however they only resolve as an IPv6 address if your ISP has registered with them. I can understand this to some extent, but on the other hand, it might hold things back, as there’s alot of people beating their ISP’s to IPv6 with Tunneling over IPv4. Google here have proved that a move to IPv6 can be done without too much effort, providing you can release resources into the change, and you have a good firewall, Remember NAT is not a firewall.

What about ISP’s, what are they doing about IPv6? well Andrews and Arnold seem to be among the few ISP’s offering native IPv6 in the UK, I believe there is currently no more than 3 ISP’s offering such service. Why? maybe they don’t see the point because not many sites are using it yet. Well, here’s some news, every site I run, has IPv6, that is my personal sites and company sites, Google also have IPv6. so what are we waiting for?

Consumer devices is where my attention is grabbed, Can you name a single off-the-shelf Consumer grade router / modem that supports IPv6? I can not. and I can’t see someone at home spending thousands on Cisco gear to have IPv6. My solution to this was to buy a consumer-grade Asus WL-500gp router, and flash it’s firmware with Linux. This now gives me IPv6, along with IP4 and IP6 firewalls that I am personally comfortable with configuring.

Maybe the big problem here with ISP’s supporting IPv6 is that the consumer devices do not yet support such a thing, this means it is completely pointless having the ISP’s support it. IPv6 is moving forwards, and in the last year or 2 there has been some very big movements. unfortunately, these movements are no going fast enough, and until consumer devices support IPv6 this movement will be on a slow trickle. we only need one or two big ISP’s to start supporting IPv6 in the UK for it to take off like a rocket over here, so maybe this is a cry to the manufacturers of the consumer devices to support IPv6 so the ISP’s can also support it.

Get on the IPv6 bandwagon, this is a vote for IPv6 move forward.

4 thoughts on “There’s no place like ::1

  1. The title does not match the article. It should be ‘IPv4/IPv6 Rant’ … I’m just saying

  2. Apple’s Airport Extreme Base Stations and Time Capsules support IPv6, of course, with the usual turn-it-on-and-go cool. I have one connected to Virgin’s cable modem.

    Can’t think why I came back to them after I also was on DSL with a /28 from Bulldog — oh yeah, that’s it, my anxiety caused by a potential system failure that never happened in my own hand-built router. Not to speak of the speed, and the awful uncertainties around copper signalling. But the /28 worked. It just worked, like magic, like old times. More than one of a service, sensible trust relationships and host security, working dynamic protocols without hideous port mapping tripe, working VOiP, UML on external address, working name and FTP servers with no fuss nor muss, platform-specific mail servers suited to their roles (one list, one general), transparent routing and resolution when referring to devices inside or outside of the LAN, multiplayer gaming and multiple servers coordinated by external servers that set up on-LAN communication, it all just worked. Bliss. And while ethernet-to-the-home (EG layer-2 bridging implied by cable) is turn-on-and-forget, as you say, the NAT drives me mad, as does the dynamic IP. It’s a “Business” connection, too. Yeah, right. I now pay others to handle my mail (Google), and use EC2 or Mosso Cloud Servers when I need anything that messing about with port mapping would kill my patience for (or, indeed, for which my connection would simply be too slow or inconvenient for given cable’s speed inconsistencies). Might as well give in entirely while I’m at it. There’s a happy 18 months left till the contract runs dry.

    Well, anyway, I’ll try and badger Virgin, not too much hope though. It’s the least they can do for a “Business” to give end-to-end connectivity in these trying, device-filled times, or in other words, IPv6. First-class citizenship again for all. Thanks for your post.

    The Apple products support 6to4, 6in4, native, or link-local-only IPv6. The NATs include ALGs in client and server side for various protocols, not unfortunately including FTP. The firmware usually works but occasionally has annoying bugs, most recently involving 6in4. Your connection has to be provided by an external, ethernet-connected device; no built-in modem. But it’s rarely unstable or non-functional in the general case.

    Good choice regarding AAISP; if I’d had a USB-pluggable DSL modem that supported DSLMax I’d've gone at them like a shot.


  3. Seb.
    Yes, I’m aware of the Airport stuff – however, there’s still no Consumer xDSL routers for V6.

    My DSL configuration is a ZyXEL Router in full-bridge mode, and a heavily modified DD-WRT Router (Asus WL500GPv2) – the reasons for choosing AAISP was Native IPv6, excellent support and full graphing of my line(s)

    I have been speaking with someone working in Virgin, and they appear to be doing *something* with IPv6, what, and how long I don’t know yet, I lost interest in it when I moved house and away from Virgin. I’m looking forward to FTTC trials which will be in my Area around December, this should give me some nice speed, too.


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