IPv6 finally rolling out on the internet!

by alec on February 4, 2008

The BBC reports this morning that the internet cutover to IPv6 has started, as the internet's root servers are starting to have IPv6 addresses added to them.  With just 14% of the IPv4 address pool remaining, there is some urgency to getting this started.  The entire pool of addresses is expected to be exhausted by 2011.

The final paragraph of the BBC piece reads:

For a long while, he said, the effects on consumers would be minimal though eventually home routers may have to be upgraded or swapped so they can use the longer addresses.

Indeed.  A whole generation of consumer routers will become obsolete at some point as the requirement to maintain a public WAN address goes away.  In the mid term, however, I expect that consumer routers will speak IPv6 and v4 on the local net as a way to deal with the myriads of IPv4 devices already in existence.  For example, all of the PCs on our home network run Windows Vista, which supports both versions of IP.  However, our phones, networked media players, game consoles, and DVD players are all IPv4 devices.   IPv6 will also be a boon for VoIP, as the thorny issues around NAT will simply… go away.

Count me in!  Does anyone know where I can get an IPv6 capable home router?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Avi Flax February 4, 2008 at 7:54 am

Apple's Airport Extreme and Time Capsule products support IPv6.

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Frank Miller February 4, 2008 at 11:53 am

If I had a dime for every time I've heard, "IPv6 is coming…"

The problems that IPv6 was originally designed for were solved by NAT. Yes NAT is a pain, but not insurmountable. The same force you quoted, the need to replace mountains of existing networking equipment, is also the force that is preventing this technology from being adopted.

IPv6 is just not differentiated enough for the market to toss its existing investment.

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Derek Morr February 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I don’t buy the argument that equipment replacement will prevent IPv6 rollout. We already need to regularly replace equipment. Core routers need to be replaced with newer, faster models with greater memory. Switches need to be replaced with faster models. Wireless access points get replaced with faster versions, etc.

The same applies to software. A lot of software already supports IPv6. If the version you’re running doesn’t, it’s likely a future version will.

In many cases, IPv6 support can be gained during these regular equipment replacement cycles.

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Dan Jones December 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

dd-wrt (on a variety of home routers) will support IPv6. If a user is not connected to a provider natively offering IPv6, tunnel brokers like Hurricane Electric can offer a great means to test it out.

In my testing, I have found most apps which claim to support IPv6 do but only by name. A good example is Firefox. I can bring up IPv6 pages by domain name (or entry in host file) but it chokes on entering an IPv6 address directly into the browser.

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