What is the best way to use IPv6 if you are a home user. I have a number of vista/ws2k8/w7 machines at home, but they are behind a NAT firewall which is not IPv6 compliant!

How can they be attached to a public IPv6 network? For example, I want to be able to see the dancing kame (http://www.kame.net)

Also, my ISP does not support IPv6!


Since very few ISPs provide native IPv6 connectivity to home users you will have to set up tunnel to an IPv6 network. You'll need to find a tunnel broker that provides v6 connectivity (here's a list); unfortunately the tunnel will reduce the efficiency of v6 connections (due to the overhead of encapsulation and added latency); on the bright side the tunnel can seamlessly traverse a NAT.

If you have a Linux machine at home then you can get yourself a delegation for an entire network - usually a /56, for up to 256 unique addresses - and use radvd to advertise it to your entire LAN: all you home machines are autoconfigured, the linux machine acts as a router to IPv6 packets.

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  • By the way, if you're living in France, the major ISP "free" is supporting IPv6 since end of 2007. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6_deployment#France – paulgreg Jun 8 '09 at 7:40
  • Luca, where is the list you're referring too? – Martijn Heemels Jun 10 '09 at 21:30
  • Martijn just follow the link ;) – Luca Tettamanti Jun 14 '09 at 18:38
  • A good chunk of ISP's in the USA already support IPV6 too, TWC and Comcast for instance. Oh god, I just noticed I am commenting on a post from 2009, whoops! – hak8or Mar 4 '15 at 2:41

Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 all use IPv6 by default. But the network appliances (switch/hub/wlan ap's) have to support IPv6 as well. First make sure all your internal equipment is IPv6 compliant.

Next is to make sure your router is IPv6 complient.

Finally you have to wait for you ISP to implement IPv6. As long as you are not given an external IPv6 address by your ISP you are bound to IPv4 when using the internet. The local machines will still communicate with IPv6 though.

You can use "ping machine -6" or "ping6 machine" to force pinging with IPv6.

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  • 2
    Good answer, but my ISP is not IPv6 though – Nick R Apr 30 '09 at 21:02
  • Almost no ISP's are using IPv6 yet. I give it 2-3 years. – Frode Lillerud Apr 30 '09 at 21:05
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    @Frode Lillerud That's what they said 2-3 years ago! Remember the "ZOMGZ!! We're running out of IPv4 addresses!!1!" stuff? – Mark Renouf May 5 '09 at 8:27
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    Switches, hubs and access points don't have to support IPv6 at all. They work at the link layer, they are completely indifferent to what is transmitted through them... You can use them with IPX, AppleTalk, IPv6, anything... it makes no difference. It only matters for routers and above. – Juliano Nov 8 '09 at 21:15
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    Downvoted because the best way to do this today is not to wait for your braindead ISP to roll out IPv6 service, because you'll be old and grey before they do that. Instead, sign up with a free account through a tunnel service, e.g. Hurricane Electric or SixXS, and terminate the tunnel at your home gateway. You probably need a home gateway that can terminate such tunnels, e.g. Apple's AirPort Extreme is one, but Netgear and Buffalo also make gateways that can do it. – james woodyatt May 19 '10 at 23:27

I'm a happy user of the SixXS IPv6 tunnel provider. They're free, and provide tunnel endpoints in many countries so there probably is one nearby.

Follow their "10 steps to IPv6" howto to get started connecting a single host to the IPv6 network. SixXS works with a credit system, so you need to show you can keep a tunnel up to a single host for a week before you get credits to request a subnet.

Since you want to provide IPv6 connectivity to an entire subnet, use this week to make sure you understand the basics. Then, request a subnet and SixXS will provide you with a /48 subnet of publicly routable v6 addresses. Designate one host as IPv6 router (I'm only experienced with using Linux for this), have it set up the tunnel to SixXS, and have it broadcast your v6 subnet on the LAN interface. All machines on you LAN that support IPv6 will then autoconfigure themselves within seconds, by assigning themselves an address from the subnet and adjusting their routing through the tunnel. Getting the tunnel setup is the hardest part. The rest is quite easy.

In reality the learning curve is quite steep at the beginning, but it's an interesting challenge, with excellent geek-cred :-). The SixXS tunnel provider provides a clear process and excellent tools. Also, the wiki and forum will definitely get you results.

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  • Free IPv6 tunnel provider!? – Pacerier Jul 16 '12 at 17:06
  • Yes, SixXS is free and provides static 6in4 and dynamic AYIYA tunnels. – Martijn Heemels Dec 19 '13 at 17:02
  • Is it really free? If so, how do they earn their keep? – Pacerier Dec 23 '13 at 16:05
  • SixXS is not a company but a private effort by two individuals with the aim to make quality IPv6 connectivity more accessible in a time when most providers do not yet provide native connectivity. They do this in their spare time. The actual tunnels are provided freely by various ISPs around the world and SixXS provides the tooling and makes it easy for end-users. Pim van Pelt works at Google and Jeroen Massar has a networking company. See sixxs.net/about & sixxs.net/faq/sixxs/?faq=why – Martijn Heemels Dec 31 '13 at 10:47

So, without IPv6 from your ISP, you need to sort out some kind of tunneling approach.

There are two main methods:

  1. Tunnel set up on the router.
  2. Tunneling done on your host, without assistance from the router.

For (2), look into configuring a Teredo interface; it's unpleasant and probably results in a lot of your traffic going through Microsoft's servers, but it bypasses NAT and should semi-work.

Once you've gotten some experience with just one host, I recommend switching out your home router for one which supports IPv6. Depending upon the model you have, you might be able to update the firmware with an open source alternative, which will give you a lot more control and, depending upon your choice, IPv6 too. http://www.openwrt.org/ is one option.

Otherwise, more and more routers are finally supporting IPv6 natively.

To use the router, you need to decide how to get connectivity between your box and the rest of the IPv6 internetwork. Without ISP cooperation, this pushes you to two choices:

  • 6to4
  • static tunnel to free provider

Static tunnels are what http://ipv6.he.net/ and http://www.sixxs.net/ provide. You configure up a tunnel to a particular remote end-point, you should get reverse DNS and everything semi-works, as well as it can with tunnels involved.

6to4 provides automatic tunneling using well-known addresses to act as gateways; you don't need to set up anything besides "turn it on", but it's rather harder to debug problems, as traffic routes are heavily asymmetric, and you'll need to sort out reverse DNS via a special registration website which isn't really that secure, especially if you have an open wifi network anywhere on your site.

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If you want it for research (have fun), you could setup a client(s) and gateway/router with 6to4 (encapsulation of IPv6 traffic inside IPv4). I haven't personally done it, but I'd love to try it once I have time to play.

Here's some good reads:

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I believe Hexago supports UDP tunneling, which will let a server within your NAT router's private network (assuming your router does UDP forwarding) tunnel out. Then just set up an appropriate radvd configuration to route for the other machines on the network.

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You can use a tunnel broker such as http://www.go6.net or http://tunnelbroker.net/ to route IPv4 traffic though their IPv6 addresses.

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I'm using an Alix with m0n0wall, which should tunnel to tunnelbroker.net and get you connected. I work at a small regional ISP that is experimenting with IPv6 now and am using it for my IPv6 DSL connection direct, rather than via a tunnel. We have a tunnel to tunnelbroker.net for our upstream, as our direct upstreams don't yet support it.

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