Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Getting Up To Speed With IPv6: Setting The Stage

This is the second article in my series on getting up to speed with IPv6. For the first article look here.

Ideally, to use IPv6 on your network your ISP will simply provide you with an IPv6 address and you will be good to go automagically. In practice, virtually no ISP's at this point are enlightened enough to do this which means we must go out of our way before we can reach the state of IPv6 Nirvana that we so desire.

Here is a list of ISP's that currently support IPv6.

The odds are that your ISP is not on that list.

As a first step, let's check our current IPv6 readiness using the online tool at

Your test result will most likely look something like this;

That's OK though, we expected that.

Let's start by summarising the steps we must take to get IPv6 up and running on our networks (assuming our ISP does not provide it for us already).

1) A debian/ubuntu server operating as a IPv4 router.

2) Deployment of an IPv6 tunnel on our router.

3) Configure IPv6 network services for clients

And that is it, really. The first step will require a "non-routing" adsl or cable modem. If you have a typical modem+router[1] device it will need to be configured in "bridged" mode[2]. This can be done in various ways depending on what type of device you have[3]. For obvious reasons I will not be able to provide step by step instructions on how to go about this for every make and model router available, but I will give an example using the Netgear DG834G I use on my own network.

Once this is done, step two will prove to be surprisingly simple. There are numerous free and commercial "IPv6 tunnel brokers" to choose from out there however we are going to use the free service from Hurricane Electric[4].

The third step involves configuring multiple services to make your IPv6 network usable by hosts on your LAN. It will actually be a series of articles for different services.

Continue on to Step 1: Basic IPv6 Setup

P.S. Don't forget that June 8 is IPv6 Day!

[1] It is most likely that your current home network uses a cheap consumer grade "router" which is more accurately described as a "NAT gateway" as it does not do true routing.

[2] You cannot use IPv6 over IPv4 NAT.

[3] Alternately, if you are so inclined, you could also choose to hack the firmware on your existing "router" to use the open source "openwrt" Linux distribution which includes IPv6 support by default. I will not be describing this procedure in this series.

[4] Registration required.

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