back to article Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

The deployment of a new address system for the internet brings with it connectivity problems, network security issues and privacy concerns, according to a new study. The UK is lagging behind other areas of the world in relation to the transition to IPv6 and the continuing reliance on the existing IPv4 system of addresses has …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPV4 best for the general public

    I am behind a NAT router, my ISP gives me a dynamic IP address, and I wish to stay like this thanks very much. Our privacy and device security are compromised enough already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IPV4 best for the general public

      Can I just add...

      Bugger IPv6!

    2. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: IPV4 best for the general public

      Sticking your head in the sand will only result in you getting sea water up your nose when the tide comes in. You might be fortunate that most of the web sites that you want to go to have IPv4 addresses, in the West we got allocated lots of IPv4 addresses, that is not true for, eg China. It will change.

      BTW: Pinset Masons is reporting old news, that report has 2012 written all over it!

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: alain williams Re: IPV4 best for the general public

        "Sticking your head in the sand will only result in you getting sea water up your nose when the tide comes in......" Which is part of the problem for the IPv6 pluggers - they've been screaming about the tide coming in and us all due to drown for years, but those creating new network projects are still able to implement IPv4 solutions because most Western companies are looking three-to-five years ahead.

        ".....that report has 2012 written all over it!" The other part of the IPv6 plugger issue - they started screaming far too soon and far too loud, and too much of the screaming consisted of pluggers shrieking "Do it cos we say so, 'cos we're cleverer than you!" - brow-beating is not a good incentiviser when others can see holes in your argument. The myth of "drowning" is particularly vacuous for US companies and has been known to be so for years (

        The result is very much like the boy that cried wolf - we've got tired of listening to the exaggerated tales of doom. And part of the reason that the pluggers started screaming about IPv6 so loud and soon is because it is the most cackhanded design and marketing effort ever. One big problem faced by the IPv6 pluggers was the user perception that IPv4 has always been a pain and anything replacing it is going to be twice as painful. Some people still insist that IPv4 subnetting is a dark art. So they approached IPv6 with trepidation, only to be faced with a completely new and largely incompatible standard that simply looks like someone had a "bright idea", got upset by the criticism, and just decided to force it on the users regardless. This perception by the users is only heightened by the non-stop screaming of imminent "drowning" that somehow never happens. By far the simplest and easiest to implement solution would have been to simply add another pair of binary octets to the existing four-octet IPv4 addressing, which would have meant we could have quite easily converted existing IPv4 addresses to the new standard, only instead we got the mess of hexadecimal IPv6 which requires existing networks to be completely rejigged, dual-stacked or use translators between IPv4 and IPv6 subnets. Believe me, any time you ask a CIO to throw away something that is working relatively well and invest in something they have a problem seeing the value of you have a big problem.

        And the arguments about IPv6 security don't seem to stack up either - I have known IPv6 nets that have been hacked, and most of the "built-in" security of IPv6 would seem to be possible to bolt on to IPv4 implementations. At the moment you have been telling us we're all going to drown every day for years, but the IPv6 "answer" sounds too much like asking everyone to buy and eat fifty expensive oysters in the hope we'll somehow grow gills.

        1. alain williams Silver badge

          Re: alain williams IPV4 best for the general public

          Wow! It is not just your head that is in the sand.

          Dual stacking by adding IPv6 is not hard, I cannot see why you are afraid to do it. Google and Akamai (to name but two) support IPv6, they would not do so if there was little point. I respectfully sugest that they know more about it than either you or me.

          Do not make excuses for inaction.

          Your suggested solution of adding another couple of octets to the IPv4 4 octets would be just as disruptive as the move to IPv6 with not as much of the gains.

        2. Gerhard Mack

          Re: alain williams IPV4 best for the general public

          Spoken like someone who knows nothing about programming. IPv4 is stored as a 32 bit int at a fixed point in the headers so adding the two extra octets will break everything just as much as IPv6 would.

          The idea was to make sure that we only have to go through this pain once in our lifetimes rather than just having to do it all again in a few years and that's why they went with 128 bit addresses. Same pain, more gain.

      2. Nigel Titley

        Re: IPV4 best for the general public

        Yes, there's a good reason for the report to have 2012 written all over it: it was written in 2012 and DCMS has been desperately holding on to it trying to work out how to emasculate it every since. Now I don't know about you but when the government tries to suppress something I tend to think that it might be worth looking at.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: IPV4 best for the general public

      Depending on what country, and in Europe that's everywhere apart from Germany, you're in that doesn't matter. Your ISP will happily inform the relevant parties upon request who was assigned a particular IP address. IPv6 has privacy extensions which give you more control of your addresses.

      IPv6 isn't perfect and definitely needs more testing. Pity El Reg hasn't taken part in any of the IP6 days over the last few years or bother to run a dual-stack server like, say, Heise does.

      My ISP finally got round to offering IPv6 last year and it is slowly becoming the standard for new connections. My router, my phones, my computers have no problems with it and it's faster when supported at both ends.

    4. GBE

      Re: IPV4 best for the general public

      > I am behind a NAT router, my ISP gives me a dynamic

      > IP address, and I wish to stay like this thanks very much.

      Why can't you can do exactly the same thing with IPv6?

      1. Danny 14

        Re: IPV4 best for the general public

        maybe he has a shit router? Quite a few enterprise firewalls only started supporting IPv6 in the more recent times. MS couldnt be bothered to update their firewall (TMG) so canned it instead.

        Perhaps if the naysayers wait long enough then someone big will release their IPv4 back to the pool and utilise IPv6 instead - then you can buy more!

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: IPV4 best for the general public

      NAT is a kludge (at best), which requires a lot of extra router processing these days to track all the stateful connections going through it (increase in cpu demand continues to outstrip increase of horsepower in available low power consumption cpus)

      IPv6 at its core is just IPv4 with a much bigger address space. The IPsec stuff has been relegated from MUST to SHOULD have and in a lot of cases isn't necessary.

      Large chunks of the Internet are already IPv6 only. You may not care to deal with them, but I need to as part of $dayjob.

      A decent IPv6-capable home router will firewall your internal machines just as well as an IPv4 router does. If it doesn't then install WRT-DD.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPv6 and privacy

    Adoption of IPv6 is, unfortunately, frequently associated with the assignment of unique, persistent IPv6 addresses to every "thing" connected to the Internet. Conflation of addressing with identification would be thoroughly bad for privacy., allowing wholesale tracking, even within private networks (but at network rather than application or individual level).

    1. PyLETS
      Big Brother

      Re: IPv6 and privacy

      The smallest IPV6 allocation you can get is a /64 . That gives you 2**64 - 1 addresses for TOR like purposes in respect of VPNs between friends, so your traffic could realistically emerge from and be received by anyone in your friend of a friend wider group given a suitable browser plugin. Yes I know you could use 10.*.*.* and other privately replicatable and publicly unroutable blocks for this, but the management problems of this replicated address space would make its use for this purpose more error prone, higher management effort and less likely to occur in practice.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    wait a minute

    Wasn't the NSA highly involved with the IPv6 working group?

    1. PyLETS

      Re: wait a minute

      I'm sure NSA/GCHQ would love us all to stay on IPV4. Carrier grade NAT will significantly degrade genuine peer to peer encrypted services such as ZRTP and RFC 6189 e.g. for P2P opportunistically encrypting VOIP forcing people to use Skype type services instead. If you can no longer punch a P2P port through a double layered NAT firewall we will all have to go through centrally controlled service registries rather than being able to run and secure our own servers.

    2. PyLETS

      Re: wait a minute

      As to NSA involvement in standards definition, this is an organisation with 2 mutually conflicting objectives:

      a. Securing US Government computing and communications

      b. Spying on people

      If they contribute to deliberate brokenness of standards in respect of objective a. in order to make b more feasible, they are not meeting their mission objectives by making the US government more vulnerable. This conflict probably explains why DES was apparently designed to be resistant to differential cryptanalysis when this cracking technique was not in the public domain (making DES strong) with a key short enough for the NSA to brute force at a time it was considered too expensive for anyone else to do so. The problem the NSA have with the standards committees is that published security standards are by their nature subject to very intense outside scrutiny, and unpublished ones are less likely to be adequately peer reviewed or widely implemented due to fewer people having the security clearances needed.

      The fact the NSA contributed SELinux to the Kernel shows they take objective a. seriously, and it took 2-3 years for this to be properly reviewed and improved before it was considered trustable enough to become part of the mainstream kernel. It must be very hard to hide exploits in open-source code when we know where it comes from given the amount of critical review this piece of source code must have received.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: wait a minute

      NSA et al probably have an interest because "under the IPv6 system, it will make it easier to link individuals with devices."

  4. Unlimited

    if ipv4 addresses are so rare

    Why can I rent one for a few dollars a month?

    1. Nuke

      @Unlimited - Re: if ipv4 addresses are so rare

      Wrote :- "if ipv4 addresses are so rare Why can I rent one for a few dollars a month?"

      Because you are sharing it with others.

      1. Jim Willsher

        Re: @Unlimited - if ipv4 addresses are so rare is sharing my static IP thank you.

      2. justincormack

        Re: @Unlimited - if ipv4 addresses are so rare

        Because they are not (yet) rationing them by price. That may happen, but for now small quantities are still cheap. If you want lots you cant have them at all.

        At some point Amazon EC2 won't be able to get addresses then you will have to switch... Google already went to ipv6 internally.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: @Unlimited - if ipv4 addresses are so rare

          Even if you dont have a fully integrated IPv6 internal network your firewall should be able to 6over4 for you anyway, then get your server to ipv6 what you need. That way you can still have an IPv6 for your web/email/whatever server and leave your internal network (mostly) alone.

    2. Velv

      Re: if ipv4 addresses are so rare

      There's a difference between rare and in short supply.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if ipv4 addresses are so rare

      "Why can I rent one for a few dollars a month?" You can!

      1. Jim Willsher

        Re: if ipv4 addresses are so rare

        Yep, that's what he said

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: if ipv4 addresses are so rare

      25 years ago I was _given_ 8000 of them, which I still hold.

      The expectation then was that we would have to move to ipv6 by the end of the century.

      When IPv4 was originally rolled out it was intended as an interim measure with a wide enough address space to cover the "foreseeable future" - which actually meant the 5-10 years it was expected to take to roll out better addressing methods.

      By necessity it was a self-described ugly kludge. The fact that it grew legs and hair is mainly down to nothing better actually coming along (IPX - Internet Protocol Exchange - turned out to be an Unroutable Clusterfuck).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure this is a disadvantage

    As previous commenters have mentioned, this is not necessarily a disadvantage: if everything has a v6 address, everything will need a *monitored* firewall. All those devices won't get that unless they are behind another firewall...which might as well do NAT then.

    With regard to our ISP's, having users behind carrier grade NAT makes them the only reliable providers of geolocation data unless you are on a device with GPS and want to send the data direct. Sounds like a money making opportunity to me.

    I'm sure v6 will eventually become widespread, and for content providers to be ready *now* is good practice. But for the eyeballs, it really isn't going to be that fast, and ranting nonsense about how we are going to be living in caves if we don't insist of everyone having their own /64 is really getting tired :-(

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Not sure this is a disadvantage

      "As previous commenters have mentioned, this is not necessarily a disadvantage: if everything has a v6 address, everything will need a *monitored* firewall. All those devices won't get that unless they are behind another firewall...which might as well do NAT then."

      NAT breaks a lot of things at IPv4 level. That's part of the reason it's disallowed in IPv6.

      Firewalling can be done with or without NAT. It's a LOT easier to do without address translation. My home gateway NAT box does this already for its IPv6 stuff and uses about half the CPU on v6 when processing streams, compared to the V4 stuff.

      If it wasn't for home NAT gateways and dynamic IP assignments, demand for IPv6 would have reached tipping point 10 years ago. The number of devices _already_ connected to the Internet (intermittently or permanently) is significantly greater than the entire IPv4 pool.

      Carrier-grade NAT sounds like a nice idea until you start looking at what the combined effects of your home NAT firewall and a CG-NAT gateway will do (No need to theorise. I've been behind double-NAT a number of times in SE Asia and it's a clusterfuck which is barely tolerable for web/mail use and virtually unusable for evetything else. Want to play CoD, etc? Forget it!)

      What amazes me is how willing people are to pile kludge upon kludge in order to stave off the inevitable by a few months. IPv6 _is_ better than IPv4 thanks to 20 extra years of experience in networking between their designs. Naysayers may bleat about 128 bits being excessive but every single estimate of how many devices would appear in future has historically been off by several orders of magnitude and this is unlikely to change in future.

      As I've said previously, IPv4 was intended to be around for about 5-10 years as an interim measure. Life has a nasty habit of making "interim measures" the standard even if moving to something better would make things easier all round.

  6. Lee D Silver badge

    Again, I'm implementing my rule here:

    An article telling us all off for being lazy and not implementing IPv6:

    - On a tech site that publishes no AAAA records.

    - Quoting another tech-law site that publishes no AAAA records.

    - When all my systems and external websites and services are IPv6-enabled, even my personal ones, without any problems.

    - When ALL modern major operating systems support IPv6 without any excuses.

    Sorry, Reg, but until you follow your own advice, you're just hypocrites. As such, I can't comment seriously on any IPv6 or other article until you take the simple step of ringing up your hosting provider (I doubt you do this in-house, right?) and tell them to turn on that feature.

    IPv6, SPF, SSL, the rule holds for everything.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      El Reg not IPv6

      Indeed. My own external servers went IPv6 4 years ago; I went IPv6 at home a couple of years ago. It is not hard. Unfortunately I did need to change ISP - my old one did not know what IPv6 meant.

      May I use this comment to offer my services to help El Reg implement IPv6.

      1. Vic

        Re: El Reg not IPv6

        > My own external servers went IPv6 4 years ago

        I converted my servers at about the same time.

        It was a great learning experience, but honestly not that useful; I see almost no inbound IPv6 traffic - certainly nothing I'd miss if it disappeared - and my outbound stuff goes over IPv4 without issue.

        I'm holding out for whatever comes after IPv6 - when someone realises that 128 bits was a drunken Friday-afternoon joke, and we settle down to something more realistic (perhaps 40- or 48-bits).


    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Seriously Reg, what's your timetable for IPv6 deployment? Has it even been discussed? Has anyone bothered to look into it? How much would it cost? What sort of costs outside of bog-standard network-guy time would it take? Why hasn't it been done up until now? What's the barrier to deployment?

      Let's get rid of the junky articles telling us off, and the rubbish about how to back up our VMWare servers (if you don't know how to do that - why the hell are you in charge of running a VMWare server), and the paper-planes-in-space projects and put up an article series on the challenges of getting something like The Reg onto IPv6.

      Or is it just that embarrassing that you don't know how to do it, or it would literally take a few lines of code and it would just work?

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      1. Vic

        Yes to SPF

        > Don't use SPF - it can cause all sorts of problems:

        Do use SPF. It only causes problems if you don't bother to read up on what statements you are making.


        ... Is chock-full of inaccuracy and misdirection. Bogus beyond belief.


        Keeps making the same old claim about throwing away email you wanted to send - and that's patently wrong.

        SPF is the simplest of simples: it is a way for the *owner* of a domain to specify which machines will send mail on behalf of that domain.

        If you don't want to make such a bold statement about your own domain - then don't.

        If you want a domain owner not to make such a bold styatement about his own domain, then you need to negotiate with him about how he uses his own property.

        I've been using SPF for many years now, and it's a godsend. It *does* require a little care - most notably if you're trying to run an email forwarder. But that is a simple problem to solve, and is the only thing SPF actually breaks - the rest of the noise you'll hear about it is generally when someone wants a domain they don't own to behave differently...


        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Yes to SPF

          Er, yes, that SPF stuff is just FUD.

          Had it deployed for years. Never not received an email intended for me, never had problems sending an email (in fact, without SPF, it's much harder to send an email successfully to the large webmail providers from your own email server).

          And, yes, I do check the logs so I know every SPF failure and why it happened (and have greylisting, and DKIM, and lots of other stuff too) and yet still have never "lost" an email in either direction on a dozen or more domains.

          Just don't be stupid - use it quite simply to identify your domain's official outgoing mailservers (which are almost always also your MX servers for reception anyway) and don't try to get too clever (the macro crap in SPF is just not worth it).

          I say that as someone who is used to doing all sorts of fancy redirection, forwarding, re-enveloping and have THOUSANDS of email addresses, one for each company/website that I deal with at least. SPF isn't a problem. DKIM is a pain to set up and doesn't seem to do much. But the amount of spam that I receive that I *can* reject instantly because of SPF failures is unbelievable and I wouldn't do without it.

          SPF check, Spamhaus check, greylist (and thus they are told to "try again later" to send their email, their email is not officially delivered until they do try again - which spammers NEVER do - and otherwise their email is just forgotten about) gets rid of 99.999% of my unwanted email. And I've yet to see a false rejection of genuine email, or spam sneak through that failed any of those check.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Noooo to SPF!!

            Noooo !

            Whilst I agree that some of it is FUD, and most issues can be worked around, there is one important thing that got me to stop using SPF, and it has nothing to do with my receiving email - I still use SPF filtering on my servers, along with greylisting etc.

            Firstly, it doesn't matter how perfectly you configure your own setup.

            I stopped publishing my own SPF records for one important and unavoidable reason:

            If the recipient of an email uses aforwarding address, they may no longer get the email you send.

            I had number of correspondents who this happened to.

            They either had their own domains, or had forwarding for various other reasons.

            Their email provider at their final destination was honouring SPF.

            My mail to them was being dropped because their forwarding server was obviously not an SPF match for my servers (which used SPF-strict - otherwise what's the point?)

            For some friends (who had no control of their email servers) the only option was to get their 'real' address.

            This is not always possible, and especially affected me as I tend to reply off-list to a lot of problems posted to mailing lists - in these situations I don't know if an email address is being forwarded or not, and even if it is, I have no way to find out the 'real' address.

            So, was my email dropped? Or did the recipient ignore it?

            Should I be informed of non-delivery - in my opinion, yes, but many places just assume spam and blackhole the email so as not to create non-delivery spam.

            To me, THIS the biggest contributer to making email unreliable - it is not the spam itself, but the systems that silently drop mail they don't deliver.

            If any of my systems block an email for any reason, the sender (if legimate) gets to know about it. As this is generally done with a 5xx rejection code, the non-delivery notification itself diesn't generate a new enail.

            Incidently, mailing lists that are really 'mail exploders' (i.e. the sender envelope is not set to the list address but left unaltered) break similarly.

            If you are sure this hasn't affected any of your outgoing emails. (and your own logs will tell you bugger-all) - or you don't care - then you are lucky.

            Personally, I'd like to avoid the crapshoot.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Re: Noooo to SPF!!

              Can't say it's EVER been an issue, and almost every family member I know has email redirection from a different provider to a different webmail or ISP email address.

              Note that ALL of my domains forward all of their email (via external hosts and their mail-forwaring, or my own server) to a handful of ACTUAL stored email accounts that I have (including a one and an old one). I don't lose emails. And I have SPF setups like mad.

              Anyone forwarding has to make a TEENSY TINY change to their forwarding setup if their forwarding setup was basically forging emails anyway (as the SPF FAQ on this says, it's called "remailling" not "forwarding", really). Every open-source MTA has been dealing with the situation since the beginning of SPF and any commercial ones would be dead in the water if they couldn't manage it for the last ten years.

              There is zero impact in this - the only thing that changes is that you address the envelope differently rather than trying to pass on messages verbatim (which is a stupid idea anyway). You're forwarding email - the ONE job you need to do is to collect email and send it to someone else - why on Earth would you try to do that by basically "replaying" the SMTP session that you received - it's stupid and nobody does it nowadays (if you know someone who does, name-and-shame).

              Every remailer/forwarder I've ever seen uses this envelope-recreation anyway (why would you not want to re-write the actual email address in your envelope to the one you're SENDING EMAIL TO?). It's stupid, un-updated MTA's that have a problem and if you're using one of those exposed to the net unmanaged by someone with half-a-brain you have much bigger problems anyway. They've probably been blocked left, right and centre already for basically attempting SMTP forgery on a huge scale.

              Honestly, it's not as big a problem as you make out. One missing email to me would be a HUGE problem, and I monitor closely, and I've NEVER seen this kind of thing in the wild. And I manage networks (including several domains and hundreds of email accounts at every one, most of them set to also "forward" to the user's personal email too at the user's request).

              You are MORE likely to have problems if your own mail forwarder is NOT SPF-aware than anything else (and senders won't matter at all).

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: No to SPF

        SPF is an antiforgery tool. It's bloody useful.

        The main problem with it is the number of half-assed ways people chooose to use it.

        If someone says "these are the only servers authorised to send mail from these domains" why should I disagree with him/her? It's his domain after all.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm ready now.

    My (not ISP) router fully supports IP6, including security and port address translation, and my blocklist source has provided IP6 ranges for a while; it can hide my devices too, because it can DHCP devices itself.

    1. JeevesMkII

      Re: I'm ready now.

      You're in the minority then. Most consumer routers don't have any useful degree of support for IPv6. I'm not even sure they know how they're going to present it to customers. I'm convinced that v6 adoption in homes is going to require a hell of a lot of work to present to non-technical customers in a humane fashion. At very least, we'll be needing a name server in every device so we don't have to deal with the actual numbers..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm ready now.

        There seem to be a lot of badly broken consumer gear with regard to v6. One actually insisted on having a /48 assigned, rather than a /64. It's improving of course, but there's a lot of breakage there

  8. Dave Bell

    It is worrying that ISPs seem to be ignoring IPv6, and, the last time I was looking, IPv6 support wasn't even mentioned on the retail packaging of router/modem hardware.

    The sudden invocation of privacy concerns is not unexpected, but sticking with IPv4 is not going to stop NSA and GCHQ and their like. They're snooping on us already. My "dynamic" IPv4 address hasn't changed for over a week. It's not like the days of dial-up when the dynamic address was an accident of which ISP modem you were connected to. Should I switch off my broadband connection every half-hour?

    My hardware is getting old enough that I am thinking about replacement, chiefly for better wi-fi, but why should I replace it with something that cannot support IPv6? Why should locked into an obsolete system?

    1. jason 7

      I just put my router on a timer switch that turns it off from 3am to 7am and it changes the IP address every day that way. Might cause more disruption for someone else. Not that I believe for one moment the NSA or the like have been anywhere near me or even remotely interested.

      1. Pseu Donyme

        Likewise I have a timer switch that turns the router off briefly in the wee hours combined with a startup script that pulls the MAC for the WAN port from /dev/urandom (on dd-wrt). With the browser clearing cookies, local storage, cache etc. on exit this should keep Google and its ilk at least somewhat in check as far as tracking goes. :)

  9. jb99


    How can an ISP that doesn't provide ipv6 access be legally called an internet service provider. Sure they provide an internet service, but the name kind of assumes that they provide a proper connection.

    We need to come up with a name for "ISPs" that don't provide a proper connection to the internet and start using that to distinguish them from actual ISPs,

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Seriosuly?

      How about "Limited Internet Service Providers"?

      Then you can tell everyone you have a LISP.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Seriosuly?

      "How can an ISP that doesn't provide ipv6 access be legally called an internet service provider. Sure they provide an internet service, but the name kind of assumes that they provide a proper connection."

      Ofcom and OFT are already looking at this very issue. Their current PoV is "wait and see" but there are very strong hints that once the majors start deploying IPv6 they'll step in and require anyone not providing IPv6 to very clearly say so.

  10. Mr Anonymous

    Chicken meet egg

    Mines the one with the /32 of IPV6 in the pocket.

    1. Vic

      Re: Chicken meet egg

      > Mines the one with the /32 of IPV6 in the pocket.

      Bah. I've only got a /48 and a /56.

      10^24 addresses is so little...


  11. Roland6 Silver badge

    Invalid assumption?

    "Without new IPv4 addresses available, new computers, mobile devices, sensors, and other consumer and commercial devices cannot connect directly to the Internet,"

    I see no reason why many of the listed devices actually need direct Internet connectivity, this just strikes me as lazy thinking - but that is the IPv6 story....

    1. PyLETS

      Re: Invalid assumption?

      IPV4 means serfs get to run clients, and our overlords get to run the servers. That's what GCHQ/NSA want. Consumer devices can continue to report back to base over the Internet. NAT keeps things this way. With IPV6 there's nothing other than limited technical knowledge and lack of software which supports users with limited knowledge to stop everyone running our own servers. I see Carrier Grade NAT as the most serious current threat to the success of this particular project:

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Invalid assumption?

        I wouldn't go that far. NAT does constrain P2P services to a degree, but it also makes the carrier responsible for compliance: eg, court orders required to sniff for traffic. If you're out on your lonesome with a public IP, hoping that the NSA can't use some built in ZDE on your kit, you might be a little optimistic assuming you are Mr/Ms Average. If you are highly skilled on the other hand, you might be better off. Horses for courses methinks

      2. Vic

        Re: Invalid assumption?

        > IPV4 means serfs get to run clients, and our overlords get to run the servers

        No, that's nonsense.

        I've been running servers on IPv4 for many years, and there's no way I could be considered an "overlord".


  12. jason 7

    I guess the issue is..... do you make money selling and renting IPV6 addresses when there are so many compared to IPV4....

    Cash cow lost.

    1. Joe Montana

      Re: I guess the issue is.....

      You don't sell or rent ip addresses of either the v4 or v6 variety, doing so is explicitly against the ripe rules... You can only charge a one off "admin fee" for provisioning the addresses to the customer.

      1. jason 7

        Re: I guess the issue is.....

        And then in the real world......

      2. John 172

        Re: I guess the issue is.....

        @Joe Montana "You don't sell or rent ip addresses of either the v4 or v6 variety, doing so is explicitly against the ripe rules... You can only charge a one off "admin fee" for provisioning the addresses to the customer."

        Tell that to BT, they charge a monthly fee for a static IP address.

        1. Colin Miller

          Re: I guess the issue is.....

          Possibly, $ISP charge £1,000,000 for a static IP address, payable at £10/month. You can sell the address back to the ISP for whatever amount you haven't yet paid off.

        2. Thought About IT

          Re: I guess the issue is.....

          Orange in France also charges a (high) monthly fee for a static address.

  13. CommanderGalaxian

    Without IPv6 - "...sensors, and other consumer and commercial devices cannot connect directly to the Internet."

    Exactly how is this a bad thing?

  14. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Y2K all over ...

    reading the original report, and the comments here reminded me that the world ended in 2000.

  15. Big Chief Running Bare

    forget fixed, its about mobile?

    I am interested to know what people think if their mobile operator took them to ipv6? You are already put through NAT with ipv4 on mobile unless you are of the lucky few with a public address. Would NAT-free ipv6 be good?

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: forget fixed, its about mobile?

      Well that's why the mobile world is so desolated. People even resort to centralistic services like What'sAp for things which could be done trivially if there only were public IP adresses.

  16. Christian Berger

    What "carrier grate NAT" means for privacy

    With IPv6 or real IPv4 your data can be traced back to your IP-address. That's why governments want to store who has which IP-address (range).

    Now while you might share an address with several people on NAT, this doesn't mean there is no information on who has which connection. In fact a NAT router needs to store information about each connection passing through it. Do you honestly think governments will not try to get their hands onto that sort of information? And look at that information, you no longer have to get a log from site A to find who accessed it, you can just pull up detailed logs for every user. All the NAT router needs to do is log the information about the connections it already has in RAM. In some countries this could be done without any new law.

    Now think of the positive implications of a NAT free world. Having publicly accessible services becomes simple. You can build a little box with a little screen which acts as a NAS. You plug it in, it gets a public IPv6 address, generates a random key, and displays both as an URL on it's screen. You then scan that with your mobile and have access. There's not even a third party you'd need to trust.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What "carrier grate NAT" means for privacy

      You are dangerously clueless about the subject.

  17. Dick Emery

    All well and good but...

    ...why is IPv6 so frustrating to get working? In Win7 I find it difficult to setup (well for my IPv6 tunnel at any rate) and have found it much easier to get working on XP on my netbook. Just paste a line into a bat file that runs at boot up and bingo! For some reason in Win7 I cannot fathom why it works 'sometimes' when pasting in the relevant stuff at the CMD prompt. But can often break IPv4 functionality. I cannot even get an IPv6 tunnel to work on my fathers BT fiber.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: All well and good but...

      "...why is IPv6 so frustrating to get working? In Win7 I find it difficult to setup (well for my IPv6 tunnel at any rate)"

      That was the tunnel. If you have a DHCP server which assigns IPv6, it "just works"

      Similar issues with address assignments used to crop up in the early 90s when everyone manually set their IP addresses even on dialup. Moving to server assignments sorted 99.9% of the issues people used to encounter and TCP/IP stopped being "hard" for users.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. WatAWorld

    When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggards.

    When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggard nations.

    So the UK lagging other nations is not an issue, provided other nations are making the switch, and they are.

    If all nations were failing to take action, that would be a problem.

    1. Big Chief Running Bare

      Re: When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggards.

      If that's true it relies on these countries (or companies) handing ip ranges back. History tells us this isnt the case. The best case is there is a market for ipv4. I seem to remember $10 per ip being the rate. No doubt that is passed on to the customer's bill! Being the last to move to ipv6 looks a flawed strategy if you expect networks to grow.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggards.

      "When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggard nations."

      When other countries/research nets/etc move to IPv6, they'll disappear over yur IPv4 event horizon.

      The well-maintained parts of China are all on IPv6-only (ipv4 areas are pretty much run by cluetards). Core academic networks are IPv6 only. Various other networks I care to talk to are IPv6 only.

      Most IPv4 registries are out of address space. If you want new v4 assignments then you have to find someone who doesn't need the space they're using and pay an extortionate fee to them to get a transfer.

      Ipv6 utterly kills that secondary market, which is why some outfits are railing hard against it (Similar to the way drug dealers don't _want_ illegal items to be liegal - it takes away their profit margins)

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Alan Brown Re: When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address....

        ".....When other countries/research nets/etc move to IPv6, they'll disappear over yur IPv4 event horizon....." Of course, because adding IPv6 magically makes your scientists smarter, your teachers better, and your businessmen just so much quicker off the mark. Not. Oh, BTW, what is the majority of the US and Europe, still the largest economies and producers of the most research, running? Why, IPv4!

        "......Most IPv4 registries are out of address space. If you want new v4 assignments then you have to find someone who doesn't need the space they're using and pay an extortionate fee to them to get a transfer......" Was that someone insisting we're all about to drown (again, for the five-thousandth time)?

        1. Big Chief Running Bare

          Re: Alan Brown When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address....

          @matt bryant, time to define "drowning"!

          The world will not end, existing services on the internet continue to work.

          But the internet is all about growth. In an ip address stiffled world then complexity rises. As nat is layered on nat and kludge on kludge then to bring on next million users is more expensive each time. Rising costs in those centralised gateways and in the savvy staff you need to run the complex network.

          I've seen country wide isps looking to divide the country into regions to stretch ip addressing. Others virtualising data centres just to provide pods of consumers with the usual services that could be amalgamated if addressing was unique. Costs rise when they should be getting lower. And complexity and kludge makes services flakey and blocks innovation (see Alan Browns experience with carrier grade NAT. Now enough of the content is dual stack the networks will drag us kicking and screaming in to the new world, else face a lingering decay.

  20. WatAWorld

    Does IPv6 gives each device a permanant IP address -- if so boon for spies and criminals.

    Correct me if this has changed, but originally (several years ago or more) the plan with IPv6 was for each device to have a permanent IPv6 address.

    *IF* this is still the case IPv6 is going to be a boon for spy agencies, criminals, and targeted advertising companies.

    So, is this still the plan? Will IPv6 addresses be permanent in the same sense that MAC addresses are today?

    1. Vic

      Re: Does IPv6 gives each device a permanant IP address -- if so boon for spies and criminals.

      > the plan with IPv6 was for each device to have a permanent IPv6 address.

      No, that's never been the plan.

      There is *one possible* scheme for issuing link-local addresses that derives fom the MAC address, but it is not a mandatory part of the standard, and is only used for lcoal addressing - Internet-bound packets will get an address from the local allocation, which is very much *not* fixed.

      > Will IPv6 addresses be permanent in the same sense that MAC addresses are today?

      Not outside the LAN, no.


    2. Big Chief Running Bare

      Re: Does IPv6 gives each device a permanant IP address -- if so boon for spies and criminals.

      IPv6 is same as a public IPv4 address in this regard. You can have dynamic publics and static publics, what ever your provider offers. To suggest this is an IPv6 thing is wrong. It exists today. Its private addresses and NAT that disappear with IPV6. (And you can achieve any perceived security benefits from NAT with a basic v6 firewall on your router if that's what you want- block outside -in connections being made)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My ISP now gives out semi-permanent IP addresses by default

    My ISP (Shaw in Canada) now gives out semi-permanent IP addresses by default.

    To change your IP address you can either:

    - unplug the modem/NAT box for 7 days,

    - change your MAC address (not possible to do if you use their standard modem/router),

    - or phone them up and ask for it to be manually changed.

    It has been like this for a couple of years now. Before that you only needed to unplug for 24 hours.

    If I had young children or tweens I'd be concerned about what this means for privacy and safety, but I don't.

  22. Medixstiff

    I'm still waiting...

    Well Internode in Aus. was trialling IPv6 but there's not been much in the general news about it since iiNet bought them out.

    I've tested it on my Billion router internally with no issues, I really cannot wait to go IPv6 because then I won't have to be stuck on an iiNet Business plan just so I can have a static address, by rights, I don't see any reason why ISP's shouldn't supply static IPv6 addresses because of the number of addresses available.

  23. incloud

    IPv6 supports stateless address autoconfiguration which means a device's source address can be automatically changed every few hours or days. This is far more privacy enabling then IPv4 NAT because your ISP does not own a database containing your address mapping, and can not share it with a third-party (legally anyway). No web site or third-party server will be able to track you for more than a short period without using a persistent cookie.

    This feature needs to be easily available in your device, as it is for example with Microsoft Windows. Interestingly this is not available in some mobile devices such as Android. This needs to be required by law.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would this work?

    New ADSL/DSL router with IPv6 and NAT. Could everything on my internal network then stay the same?

    If yes could I still host any services accessible from the outside. e.g. My NAS?

    Most users don't host any services!

    1. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

      Re: Would this work?

      >> Could everything on my internal network then stay the same?

      Basically, yes.

      There's a lot of FUD about, and a lot of the criticisms derive from the workarounds people have to do now to get around lack of ISP support. Eg, my ISP doesn't do IPv6 yet (but they've had a trial and are working towards it) - in the meantime I'm using a tunnel service from Hurricane Electric.

      This does mean I have a few extra config lines in my router (a virtual Debian GNU/Linux box), but **ALL** the complexity is handled in the router.

      From an end user POV, what should happen is : User signs up with ISP, ISP sends out pre-configured* router, user plugs it in, user equipment gets both IPv4 (as they do now) and IPv6 (which is new) addresses from the router.

      So at present, user just plug in and their equipment gets an IPv4 address - the user doesn't need to do anything (other than connect to the wireless for wireless devices). When ISPs are IPv6 enabled, "nothing happens" to the user experience - their equipment will just auto-configure both IPv4 and IPv6.

      What does change is that for IPv6 connections, there's no NAT - so that means a whole shedload of complexity disappears - complexity which many users don't see because clever programmers spent lots of effort working round the problems when they could have been building better <whatever>. I can assure you that there has been a **LOT** of (IMO) wasted developer time expended on working round the breakage that is inherent in NAT. NAT is only "not a problem: because of all this effort into working round it.

      On the security front, a basic stateful firewall will give you all the security that NAT ever gave (and more). On the privacy side, a device is quite free** to change it's IPv6 address within the subnet - and it's got millions of addresses to go at. All these will be tied back to your assigned network range - so consider IPv6 range == IPv4 address in terms of privacy. Eg, if you have a fixed IPv4 address now, everything done by your devices is linkable to your connection by the single external address - for a fixed IPv6 assignment, you'll have millions of address (actually 2^64 minimum), but they'll all be linked to your connection. If your assignments are dynamic, then they will change periodically - and the privacy issues are just the same (if <someone> wants to identify you, they can go to court, show proper reason, and get an order for your ISP to say who that address (IPv4) or range (IPv6) was assigned to at any point in time).

      * Actually, I think they use a remote configuration protocol so it gets configured when plugged in, but I'd not looked at that side of things.

      ** I forget what the term is called, but some devices will default to using a fixed address based on the MAC address. Some default to using a dynamic address that it changes from time to time.

      Of course, technical users can mess around with fixed addresses for servers, opening ports in the firewall etc. An average user doesn't need to.

      Another facet of all this is that these days it's getting less and less necessary to use IP addresses. So much now uses multicast DNS (aka mDNS, Bonjour, ZeroConf, …) so that one device can advertise on it's network all the services it offers - and other devices can automatically detect them and present them to the user. So, for example, your new printer should just plug in, systems can "just find it", and you may even see an entry for it in your browser's bar (for web management) - you you don't need to know it's IPv4 or IPv6 address (both of which will be dynamic) in order to configure and use it.

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