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World IPv6 Day - 8th June 2011
Tuesday 07 June 2011 17:27:29 by John Hunt

Wednesday 8th of June is World IPv6 Day which will see many major websites across the Internet turn on IPv6 to users for the first time for 24hours. It starts at 1am (midnight GMT) and will see the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and many other major organisations enable IPv6 on their websites. This will allow users who have IPv6 connectivity to connect to these websites over the new protocol. If you don't have IPv6 connectivity you shouldn't see any difference on World IPv6 Day, although there is a small chance (0.05%) of connectivity issues to sites who have enabled IPv6.

Whilst this may seem a bit of a fruitless operation, it is essential to motivate organisations in the industry to make sure they are ready both in terms of websites, hardware manufacturers, software vendors and network operators. The old IPv4 protocol is approaching the limit of its size, and as more people in the world come online, they will start to get online using IPv6. As adoption grows, we could see a split with those who are able to reach IPv6 parts of the Internet and those who can only reach IPv4. The test day will help companies identify and iron out any remaining problems that exist with IPv6.

Some have been providing access to IPv6 for a long time, and this includes ISPs in the UK such as those listed in our IPv6 guide. Some hardware manufacturers are also starting to pay attention, and Billion have announced that they have devices that are IPv6 ready available now.

"It's not just about a 24-hour test-flight of IPv6, Billion has the hardware available for customers and also leading ISPs have the broadband network available - so it's live and ready-to-run now. We will all have to start using it in the near future, that is clear - other countries are already using IPv6 as standard so we need to be ready."

Edward Kung, (MD) Billion UK

In an ideal world, this should be a seamless transfer to IPv6 for end users, but they will need to ensure that their router and computer support it. We have various tools on our website so you can see how you are set for this, including our IPv6 readiness check and our IPv6 Speed Test which will test both your IPv4 and IPv6 speed for comparison.


Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
Hah, all of their existing hardware could do it, it is just a software/firmware issue. They have purposefully left it out in order to flog new _hardware_ to keep their businesses turning over large quantities of goods.

I've posted in a thread in the BBS about it, but to reiterate: IPv6 has been in Linux Kernel since 1996 as alpha, experimental up to 94, and stable as of 1995.

I see it as extraordinarily profligate to sell people almost identical hardware to solve a software problem (particularly in consumer routers). Capitalism at its worst.
Posted by stxsl over 6 years ago
"Some have been providing access to IPv4 for a long time, and this includes ISPs in the UK such as those listed in our IPv6 guide."

Surely a typo in the first sentence of the third paragraph? :)
Posted by b4dger over 6 years ago
"Some have been providing access to IPv4 for a long time" ? Huh! Typo perhaps?

"If you don't have IPv6 you shouldn't see a difference" ? Huh2!

I like to think I've got a small grasp of what's going on with IPv6 but as a layman things still aren't clear to me :¬(

Some commentators are saying your ISP will sort everything out (I've heard nothing from my ISP!), others are hinting you will need IPv6 capable routers etc. 'eventually'!?

Perhaps it's just me! :¬P
Posted by b4dger over 6 years ago
I'm a slow typer - I'm glad it's not just me that thinks there might be a mistake :¬)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Some ISP's in the states and most 3G/4G/WISP providers use carrier grade NAT now, I expect that will be the next thing to put off going to ipv6
Posted by Saurus over 6 years ago
Reminds me of the millenium bug fiasco!
Posted by zyborg47 over 6 years ago
@b4dger, we will need IPv6 routers and operating systems at some point, but I think it will be a few years yet. ISPs got to start supporting IPv6 first, very few are doing so at the moment, IPv6 equipment have to come down in price. Vista and Windows 7 support IPv6, not sure what will happen to people still using XP?

for a few years at least, the consumer will not have to worry about Ipv6 as it will all be handled internally by your ISP.

Don't panic about it

Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
I doubt its millennium bug style, I don't think stuff will stop working.

It just needs to be rerouted, like the change in phone numbers.

Got that analogy from the BBC news website.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Typo fixed.

Posted by billford over 6 years ago
@zyborg47- XP includes IPv6, but it needs to be installed/enabled.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
1. Websites are going to be IPv4 compatible for a very long time to come.

2. Most users can't do anything until the ISPs start offering an IPv6 service.

3. It's pointless running IPv6 at home unless your ISP is also doing the same.

4. Only P2P traffic will become difficult when NAT is more widespread.

5. NAT works very well.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"4. Only P2P traffic will become difficult when NAT is more widespread."

Shouldn't NAT be *less* widespread under IPv6? IF carriers start doing it, some stuff will break.

"5. NAT works very well."

Says who? Revd Kennard certainly doesn't. Lots of folk don't see how broken it is, but that doesn't mean it's not broken.

btw, the millenium bug wasn't a technical fiasco, a lot of people put in a lot of work to make sure that all went OK. What wasn't OK was what happened after the marketeers and lawyers got involved.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
1. True
2. True-ish
3. False, you can tunnel very effectively for a small performance hit.
4. Absolute rubbish. Anything that requires a node to act as a server (non-initialiser) is negatively affected by NAT, especially in where many nodes want to operate on the same port. Classic example: games servers. Any program that attempts to operate using a client-server model is complicated by NAT because they must implement UPnP, SOCKS etc to punch through. It may not work if something else is there already.
5. Wrong, it is a kludge and _bad_
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago

3. You'll need some kind of ISP running IPv6 to tunnel to though and you take a performance hit. Bit pointless in my book.

4. If anything is acting as a server and it's at the client end then it's P2P traffic really isn't it? If you want to run a server then you get a proper IP address.

5. I stand by my statement that NAT works very well. Nearly every home user uses it and they really don't notice. How many people use a wireless router at home nowadays? - they'll all be using NAT.

How many mobile internet devices get a public IP address? They all work well.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
NAT is fine, but double NAT'ing (ISP NAT's and the Home users NAT's) fine for email, browsing etc but is a problem for online gaming/p2p etc
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
You could avoid double NAT by configuring the router to give out a range of addresses that go directly through the ISP NAT. Or the ISP could charge extra for public IP addresses for those that really needed them, just like they tend to for static IP addresses now.

My basic point was that until the ISPs do something about IPv6 there is little point in any consumer tackling the issue.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago

3. It is a tunnel broker, there are many available for free (e.g. hurricane electric) The performance hit is negligible and it would only impact on those sites where IPv6 was enabled or required. So your point is not really valid.

4. No, this is simply incorrect on a technical and semantic level. You do not purposefully cripple the functionality of your WAN unless you have to (IPv4 exhaustion). If you want to block P2P there are more effective ways. You are missing the distinction between a distributed P2P network and client-server where 2 nodes can be both roles simultaneously.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
5. The reason you don't see too many problems is because engineers have to spend a lot of time and effort working around them. In the mobile arena it is somewhat different, because the devices always tend to work as clients, not usually as explicit services/servers. Secondly, many services _would_ use it if it were available instead of using polling, or other less efficient approaches than having a real globally unique endpoint.

There are many valid P2P use-cases, but the term is just being used to muddy the water. IPv6 removes annoying barriers that prevent easy and flexible innovation.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Sheepfarmer? What do you mean configure a range of addresses that go directly through your ISP NAT? You mean.. like a ipv4 public address :)
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago

3. A tunnel broker is a kind of ISP. They're just secondary to your first. It wouldn't be a free service if a few million signed up and where's the incentive for anybody to sign up in the first place? 99.999% of people don't know about, or care about, IPv6 (they've no reason to).

4. I didn't say you purposefully cripple anything. I'm just saying NAT works for millions of people in the UK every day and I can see it being used as a solution for a very long time to come.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago

5. Who cares how the problems are got around? It works for millions of people to get on with using the Internet.

I didn't say it was a great position and that we should ignore IPv6. I said it was up to the ISPs to make the first move. Or at least have a compelling enough product that only works on IPv6 to force the issue with ISPs. The consumer can't really do anything.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
@GMAN99 yes, just like they do with public addresses now :)

But when the ISP runs out of them they could do NAT directly. Don't mobile providers already do this?
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
Unfortunately that's the sort of backwards attitude that helps stifle technology. Plenty of use-cases exist that cannot be worked around, so these technologies are simply not present.

I was trying to address your original points and that many of your statements are misguided or demonstrably wrong.

WRT to tunnel brokers, again you are confusing terminology. They do not provide you an Internet Service from scratch. If you just sign up to a tunnel broker but no ISP that would not get you onto the Internet. Hence they are _not_ ISPs.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
And sure, they would charge if huge numbers of people started using them. However, that critical mass of interest would stimulate ISPs to offer the service. Win-win.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Sheepfarmer, yes that is what is already happening now though and that in itself can't last forever.

What if your new ISP has run out of v4 addresses so they use carrier grade NAT and you join them and want to play Xbox?

There are two things holding back v6 in my opinion, whilst it solves all our troubles people just don't really like it, everyone in the networking world is used to v4 , v6 is a bit of a headache :)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
The second issue is that all of the features that are available in v4 in terms of networking.. I'm talking about Cisco IOS and other vendors OS are still not all available in v6... some of these features ISP's and core carriers rely on and if they aren't available in v6 they won't move.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
@dustofnations It's not a backwards attitude, it's just telling it as it is. Just where is the incentive for ISPs to offer IPv6 to the masses? Where's the incentive for anybody to choose an ISP that offers IPv6?
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
As stated previously, I was primarily addressing your original incorrect points. Particularly 3,4,5. Your latter descriptions of your arguments do not match what you originally posted, and that is what I'm repeatedly addressing and refuting. So whilst some of what you say is correct, unfortunately much of it was factually wrong and doesn't count as 'telling it as it is'

IPv6 is a fairly technical matter. Hence most of the 'masses' do not understand the benefits they can, and long-term will, derive from it. Hence people with the nous and power need to act in the better interests of the masses.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
NAT is not perfect but I agree with SheepFarmer. I run a mail, web and FTP server at home. I have played games at home. I have hosted games at home (PC and PS3). I have accessed machines inside my network using several different remote desktop technologies. I regularly use a VPN to communicate with my office.

All of that worked flawlessly as far as the network was concerned. All of that happened behind NAT. About the only thing I haven't tried is P2P and obviously that works as well.

So tell - why should I be critical of NAT?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
IPv6 is a useful improvement and we should be moving toward it but trying to suggest that NAT is bad and 'good riddance to it' is wrong IMO. For a home user it has many advantages and I hope it continues to exist alongside IPv6. I don't /want/ my internal machines to have public addresses and NAT neatly solves that problem while also giving some security benefits for free.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
Andrue: except that's because you have the wherewithal to set up manual port forwarding properly. Most people do not, and instead dodgy UPnP ends up being a hacky solution that punches a hole through the NAT, hoping that the combination of users sitting behind it aren't attempting to reserve the same ranges. UPnP libraries don't even work properly half the time, because _MANY_ routers implement it badly.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
Other examples are proper push for mobile platforms. This is impossible with carrier grade NAT. Instead the poor man's alternative are things such as polling or leaving an extended connection open, both of which are pointlessly using resources because most of the time now is there.

Also NAT is not security, as I'm sure you know. Especially with UPnP enabled (which negates any of the ease-of-use). Furthermore, your unique endpoint doesn't need to be a 'true' public address unless you _want_ it to be. You could lock it down so that it was effectively an internal address very easily.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
I'm not sure this is the best place to have this conversation, perhaps we should open a thread in the TBB forums. Please do if it interests you (I think you're in a similar line of work to me :P)

But I leave this link with some good answers:
Posted by mpellatt over 6 years ago
All I can add to this - whilst not a "hardcore" gamer myself, both my son and stepson have had issues (one with BT broadband, one with Sky) with both Xbox 360 and PS3 online gaming where the recommended simplest work-around is to set-up the games console as the DMZ device on the router.

If that doesn't scream out "NAT IS BROKEN FOR ORDINARY CONSUMERS", I don't know what does.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Perhaps it screams out that the game(s) are broken instead.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Naa its the router/firmware that is broken. Decent routers that support UPnP or port triggering/forwarding properly can support games fine.

A DMZ is a last resort and says its a poor router if you have to do that to get it to work
Posted by Oddball over 6 years ago
I can see IPv4 tunnels becoming more popular among the pirates than the other way around :)
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