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Most IPv6-certified Home Network Gear Buggy

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the dying-from-not-surprise dept.

The Internet 174

Julie188 writes "The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab held an IPv6 consumer electronics Plugfest on Feb. 14 and CableLabs has scheduled two more for this year. UNH is tight-lipped about the results, but the sad fact is that most home routers and DSL/cable modems certified as IPv6-compliant by the IPv6 Forum are so full of implementation bugs that they can't be used by ISPs for IPv6 field trials. And that's not helping the Internet have a smooth, fast transition to IPv6. Though OpenWRT and DD-WRT solve the problem, ISPs point out that requiring the average consumer to upgrade their own firmware, because the manufacturer can't do IPv6 right, isn't a practical solution."

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174 comments

IPv6 for older hardware (4, Insightful)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385570)

From TFA:

However, Cisco isn't sure yet if routers bought prior to 2011 will get IPv6. "We are currently looking into which 'legacy' Linksys product can support IPv6. (There are many things that influence us being able to do it -- including if there is enough memory, as well as other factors.) The engineer teams are working on that," the spokesperson said.

I would be shocked if they offered firmware upgrades for old hardware to add IPv6 support even if the hardware could do it. It seems more likely they and others will use it as an excuse to obsolete a ton of old hardware and force people to buy new stuff.

Re:IPv6 for older hardware (1)

spywhere (824072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385678)

I would be shocked if Cisco ever produces a Linksys router that is worth the money, IPv6 or not. The hundreds I've seen in the field are so unreliable that I'd never buy one, and I replace one or two more every week. Linksys is the reason I carry two Netgear or Dlink wireless routers in the car.
Sure, I do see other brands fail after a year or two, but I've seen more brand new defective Linksys routers than I have Netgear routers that dies of old age.

Re:IPv6 for older hardware (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385786)

Sure, I do see other brands fail after a year or two, but I've seen more brand new defective Linksys routers than I have Netgear routers that dies of old age.

Obviously Cisco is tackling the IPv6 problem proactively: make IPv4 routers with very short half life, so when we to switch to IPv6, the number of people who need to buy a new router will be only slightly higher than normal!

Re:IPv6 for older hardware (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385836)

Some of their models might suck, but their WRT54GL line has been pretty awesome. We've probably sent out a few hundred ourselves, and a half dozen failures a year would be a bad year. Uptimes with third party firmware like DDWRT or Tomato are pretty much "since the last power failure". We replaced one that was on battery backup to upgrade to 802.11n, and the uptime before disconnecting it was over 600 days.

Netgear's pretty good too, but D-Link? They couldn't code a DHCP server to save their lives.

Except for IPv6, I prefer Linksys (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385992)

I've always had good luck with Linksys reliability and stability - I recently upgraded from my antique BEFSX41 to a newer model that had 802.11n support,and they're fine. (Of course, when I finally got around to looking at how to configure IPv6, and found that the answer was "folks on the net say it supports DD-WRT", I was much less happy :-)

By contrast, while I've always really liked Netgear's Layer 2 switches, the one Netgear router I bought (which did 802.11b) was a cretinous piece of junk, and I haven't felt motivated to try any of their newer Layer 3 equipment.

Re:Except for IPv6, I prefer Linksys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386102)

Yeah, netgear used to be good - their newer routers are total piles though.

Everyone who's ever called me over with wireless network problems has had a netgear router.

Maybe it's just the cheap ones though...

Re:IPv6 for older hardware (3, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386002)

Sure, I do see other brands fail after a year or two, but I've seen more brand new defective Linksys routers than I have Netgear routers that dies of old age.

I've got a WRT54GS, a WRT54GL, and a WRT54Gv8 scattered around my house acting as dumb access points. The oldest is probably seven years old. Once configured, I haven't had to touch any of them. Meanwhile, my pair of Netgear gigabit switches are awful. I've replaced them each twice. Good thing they have a lifetime warranty. I get some issue where they will just start flooding the network with traffic, preventing anything from getting through, and requiring a power cycling. The 24-port Netgear switches at work have the same exact behavior. The only thing I can think of is some sort of STP failure.

Re:IPv6 for older hardware (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386288)

Funny that is why I carry a couple of TrendNet routers myself. Folks may make cracks because TrendNet routers are cheap and aren't fancy, but I have set up TrendNet routers on construction sites where the amount of grit, funk, and temp differences would choke just about any router (and killed brand new Linksys junk dead) and they just keep on humping along, solid as ever.

Like you I have thrown away more brand new Linksys routers than any other brand by a looong shot. There is cheap and there is garbage and Linksys has been garbage for as long as I've dealt with them. I walk into an SMB or SOHO with network troubles more than half the time a Linksys is involved. Just absolute trash.

To me what the real tragedy of IPV6 is (and why they didn't figure out a way to be backwards compatible I'll never know) is how many brand new routers are being sold at this very minute with NO IPV6 support. I'm normally not big on government regulation but this is just ridiculous. You just know the vast majority of these new routers will get NO IPV6 update and are just doomed for the garbage heap straight from the assembly line. The amount of waste this will create is just staggering and if the OEMs can't get onboard then the government simply needs to ban all non IPV6 capable routers from being imported, along with coming up with a standards test so that IPV6 capable doesn't end up another Vista capable.

. If they get a couple of shipments left to rot on the docks maybe they'll rethink selling IPV4 only routers this late in the game.

why not sell firmware upgrades? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386208)

For hardware that supports it, why not sell an upgraded IPv6-ready version of the firmware for like $10-20 (with free updates for 2 years or something)?

I, for one, don't expect free updates forever (if I just bought the router within one year of the IPv6 firmware version being released, I might expect a free upgrade, but further back than that, I could reasonably see buying the upgrade.

I would think that, without needing to manufacture or ship any new hardware, that $10-20 would give them almost as much profit (maybe more) than selling a new box with the new firmware. From my pespective as a customer, I'd rather spend $20 on a firmware update than spend $70 on a whole new router.

Guess It's Time To Sue D-Link (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385574)

False advertising and failure to follow GOVT mandated IP roolz!!!

Proprietary firmware (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385576)

Are modern routers still being sold with shitty firmware included? I remember a couple years ago there were a couple of higher-end Asus routers which advertised DD-WRT support. Did that take off at all? It would be awesome to see OpenWRT (or Tomato) being used commercially.

Re:Proprietary firmware (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385780)

maybe if you would realize that average person just wants to plug it in and it works, instead of spending hours tinkering to get each of their router, phone, computers working.

being open takes a distant 3rd or 5th place to ease of use and first setup.

Re:Proprietary firmware (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385792)

I'm going to guess that you haven't used DD-WRT, Tomato, or an OpenWRT-based firmware.

OpenWRT itself is more like Debian, the base system to bigger and better things (unless you're a nerd: then it's awesome on its own).

Re:Proprietary firmware (2)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385888)

DD-WRT is a lot more complicated then any proprietary router I have ever used, sure, it also can do a lot more, but even as experienced user I feel kind of lost between the hundreds (or thousands?) of configuration options. It is simply to much stuff at once to be really considered easy to use.

Re:Proprietary firmware (2)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386242)

... really?

It's no worse than the stock Linksys firmware in terms of how "hard" it is to setup.. and a HELL of a lot easier than any Verizon Westell DSL modem for configuring for a router etc (it doesn't help Verizon's directions suck too)

Heck if I gave an end user a linksys router with DD-WRT on it (just flashed).. they could just plug it in and be online. Sure the wifi name would be DD-WRT and have no WEP/WAP/etc, but it's not much different than any other router you plug in and it just works.

Re:Proprietary firmware (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386366)

It's no worse than the stock Linksys firmware in terms of how "hard" it is to setup..

The problem isn't how hard it is to setup when you already know what you want to do, but the bazillion of other options floating around in the interface that provide plenty of opportunity to get things wrong. Simply put, options that you don't understand are intimidating and confusing and DD-WRT has no shortage of those. All the other routers I have used, while not being fundamentally different in UI design, simply had substantially less options to play around with and focused more on what the average consumer actually used.

Re:Proprietary firmware (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386318)

Plug in the Ethernet, Goto the web admin page (just like every router out there) click wireless set the password and encryption and OK. The router reboots and you're ready to go nothing more or less than any other router. Of course you can get into the guts if you want to but that's beyond the basics and not needed to get everything up and running.

Re:Proprietary firmware (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386042)

I'm going to guess that you haven't used DD-WRT, Tomato, or an OpenWRT-based firmware.

OpenWRT itself is more like Debian, the base system to bigger and better things (unless you're a nerd: then it's awesome on its own).

Tell that to the average person. People who aren't technically inclined will generally want to be able to plug in the device and have it perform its magic. Telling them to upgrade their firmware with something non-standard would confirming to them why geeks seem so out of touch. It may not be rocket science to the average /. reader, but to the average person it might well as be.

Re:Proprietary firmware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386124)

Uh, wasn't this thread about community firmware being the default firmware choice? How did the topic get sidetracked to a discussion involving users installing their own firmware? In the original case, yes it would work immediately when it's plugged in.

No one sane would ask a user to install any kind of firmware. Even if it does load itself up with working defaults, which some do.

Re:Proprietary firmware (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385878)

The only hard part about OpenWRT or DD-WRT is the installation. Everything else is on par with other firmwares, save for the fact that you get more functionality and thus more options. If the firmware comes preinstalled they can slap on an interface that hides 3/4 of the options behind an "advanced functions" page and boom, instant super-capable consumer-grade router with no more hassle than every other router on the market.

Upgrading firmware is easy for anyone... (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386152)

but not using said alternative firmware. Let's face the upgrade side: we're talking about days when people routinely root their cellphones and have at least one alternative browser they click on without having an ounce of IT blood in their family.

On using the alt firmware... I'm under the impression that the main OSS router firmwares force you to use a CLI before you can 'install' what 99% of the world considers a mandatory port 80 GUI.

If that's still the truth, then it's pretty bad form. The only reason Joe User configures consumer routers is all the sticky color-coded labels / shrinkwrap saying "USE THIS CD IN WINDOWS TO RUN THE EASY-CLICK WIZARD GUI FIRST!" Alternative firmware doesn't get to use that trump card. That alone is the reason only 1 in 50 wifis in densely packed buildings in this large US metropolis is still in a factory state as opposed to 2 in 14 back in 2005.

Re:Upgrading firmware is easy for anyone... (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386266)

"On using the alt firmware... I'm under the impression that the main OSS router firmwares force you to use a CLI before you can 'install' what 99% of the world considers a mandatory port 80 GUI."

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, but if you're trying to say you need to use a CLI to get port 80 open.. no. If you're saying you need to use the CLI to get access to the router to flash.. no. While some models USE to require JTAG.. they were works in progress at the time. For example the linksys routers with 4M flash instead of 8.. but they broke that and have a special version you upload, and THEN you can upload the more featured one. While it is an extra step, the point is if the manufacturers stuck it on as the default instead of their own, it would all be good. There's no reason they couldn't change the GUI interface a little bit for those who think it's "too complicated".

As a side note, doesn't Buffalo also use DD-WRT or one of those in some fashion?

Re:Upgrading firmware is easy for anyone... (2)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386350)

No CLI involved, unless for some reason you really wanted to. Even upgrading between firmwares like factory > DDWRT > OpenWRT is all done via web GUI. The whole network is actually ready to go (without encryption) by just plugging it in.

Looks familiar (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385594)

Okay, this may be a new article on the subject - but it's repeating exactly the same thing we've talked about ad nauseum before.

Apple's routers are fine with regard to IPv6, and D-Link's routers are fine as well; it's just that, once again, the reporter says "most home routers" instead of using the brand name Cisco.

Wait - is this actually a new article?

Re:Looks familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385704)

Apple (ha), D-Link, and Linksys hardly cover 100% of purchased routers.

Re:Looks familiar (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386068)

Apple (ha), D-Link, and Linksys hardly cover 100% of purchased routers.

You are certainly right, but it would be nice if some of these router developers got their act together. At this point I have decided not to buy any hardware that does not have either IPv6 support out of the box or a guaranteed firmware upgrade path provided by the manufacturer.

BTW For anyone wondering, your switches are fine, since they operate at Layer-2. The issues are going to be things like routers and bridges.

Re:Looks familiar (2)

Thorizdin (456032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386338)

Didn't read past the first page, I guess:

"With the exception of some products by D-Link and Apple's AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme, none of today's CPE can operate using IPv6 well enough for a field test trial, Bulk says."

Also, even the high points of Apple and D-Link have gaps in their best models and many models that are still very broken. IIRC, only one of the D-Link (the newest one) includes a stateful firewall and older models probably won't ever because of memory limitations.

http://www.getipv6.info/index.php/Broadband_CPE [getipv6.info]

Make hardware (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385596)

If the whole unique selling proposition of your own software is that it's worse than free software, isn't it time you made the switch? Put your own logo in, add a "wizard" interface and be done with it. (Captcha: compete, emphasis mine)

Re:Make hardware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385716)

NIH.

Re:Make hardware (2)

profplump (309017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385956)

I know. I can't figure this one out. At this point writing your own router OS for SOHO-level things is like writing your own database -- you could, but it's going to be expensive and in most ways not as good as the pre-fab options.

Just put the top dev from your software team on the DD-WRT project to make sure your device and marketing features are supported, tell the guys that actually work on low-level drivers (if any -- most PHY units are now sold with prefab driver stubs from companies other than the router mfgs) to make a linux driver instead of whatever they're doing now, and lay off the entire rest of the team (or at least find something useful for them to do). You'd get better software for less cost and could still brand it however you wanted. It's not like the 4 pages of HTML in the quick-setup wizard would be hard to port to another backend.

Re:Make hardware (2)

zackeller (653801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386178)

This is exactly what Netgear has done with some of its newer products. The WNDR3700 and family comes with an older version of OpenWRT with the Netgear interface. Buffalo is now rebranding DD-WRT for use in some of its routers.

Then don't require the user to do it.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385614)

Every ISP should offer to upgrade routers to dd-wrt for the consumers, charge a small fee, and then farm the operation out to local dd-wrt hackers.

Re:Then don't require the user to do it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385744)

The *WRTs almost never have IPv6 configuration in their web interface, it usually needs to be set up from the command line. Adding IPv6 to their web setup isn't all that hard in principle though--seems like a good project for Google's 2011 Summer of Code.

Re:Then don't require the user to do it.. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385898)

The bigger issue tends to be the modem. I'm still using the same modem that I got when I switched from horrible Comcrap to terrible Qwest, it seems to have stability issues and yet lacks any sort of hardware watchdog setting and has to be periodically reboot when downloading via torrent.

If only we had known earlier! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385630)

If we had known years ago that we needed to switch to IPv6 we could have tested and then fixed these bugs with firmware updates!

The exceptions (3, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385632)

"With the exception of some products by D-Link and Apple's AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme, none of today's CPE can operate using IPv6 well enough for a field test trial, Bulk says."

Which apparently makes Apple the only company to be ready for IPv6 across all of their current products.

Re:The exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385654)

IPv6 DNS is borked in Snow Leopard, unfortunately.

Re:The exceptions (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385668)

IPv6 DNS is borked in Snow Leopard, unfortunately.

And it's not difficult to supply a patch for an operating-system install, as opposes to a firmware upgrade for a router.

Re:The exceptions (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386094)

IPv6 DNS is borked in Snow Leopard, unfortunately.

Just curious, but what is the failure happening with IPv6 DNS? I am using IPv6 on my machine and have no issues. If you mean that it tries resolving IPv4 before IPv6, then while it may be incompatible with the spec, it will probably result in less people trying to turn off IPv6 on their machines.

Re:The exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386226)

SL generally can't retrieve IPv6 addresses for hosts with CNAME records. Since 10.6.6 this hasn't been obvious when running dual-stack, but switch off IPv4 and reboot and it's still pretty dramatic (eg. Youtube won't work at all even if you're using a whitelisted DNS server.)

The bug basically rules out running OS X under NAT64 until Apple can be bothered to squash it.

Re:The exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386030)

Too bad Apple's offerings nowadays caters to the consumer who hasn't the knowledge or the knowing need for IP6 in their lives.

Which depending on your point of view, may be a good thing.

btw, your praise, while correct factually, also reflects that Apple only has a like, well, 2 networking products in total. Whoop. Eee. Even they bury those products under "accessories."

Re:The exceptions (4, Informative)

Kizeh (71312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386144)

Too bad Apple has been entirely unwilling to address DHCPv6 for purposes of DNS information, which means that all of their products must have DNS servers configured by typing in their IPv6 addresses. (Yes, several other vendors suffer from the same issue) but I still suggest that disqualifies them form the "Ready for IPv6" badge of honor. See http://discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2607101&tstart=1 [apple.com], or most any education networking IPv6 discussion.

Re:The exceptions (1)

Thinine (869482) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386258)

Lion fully supports DHCPv6 and other IPv6 broadcast technologies.

Re:The exceptions (1)

Kizeh (71312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386320)

Really? People on the NANOG list from late February claim the developer copies do not have it. Having Apple officially announce this would be awesome, can you provide a link or documentation?

Re:The exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386302)

Isn't DNS information supposed to be in the router advertisements used in stateless auto configuration?

Re:The exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386360)

iOS can get nameservers from DHCPv6 and from ND-RDNSS as well. Snow Leopard can't get them from either, while Lion, apparently, [seclists.org] will be able to get them from ND-RDNSS, but not from DHCPv6.

Anyone know why? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385666)

The manufactures bother with custom firmware? Don't they make the money on the hardware? I can see it in the business world, where Cisco makes a fortune on charging for patches to their custom firmware, but in the home space you don't pay Cisco for a patch, you go buy a D-Link.

Re:Anyone know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385742)

Product differentiation. As most of these products are 'fungible' meaning there are many equivalent versions out there (at least from an end customers point of view). Most of them are based on a generic OEM board (buffalo typically) and they tweak it a bit and slap some 'corporate logos' around. And poof... its 'better' than the other one.

web interface on OpenWRT / DD-WRT and branded (2)

johnjones (14274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385670)

the simple thing to do would be to create a decent web interface to OpenWRT and DD-WRT that can be branded by people and then we would be in a better situation !
most of them use linux anyway so it's simply that they dont know how to ship quality
encourage them to use Open systems and not and they will

infact was there not a competition to write a good web interface ?

regards

John Jones

Re:web interface on OpenWRT / DD-WRT and branded (2)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385988)

The WNDR3700's default firmware is based on OpenWRT and Netgear (apparently) still managed to botch IPv6.

Personally, I run my own OpenWRT build on mine and that works great, providing a he.net v6 tunnel for my entire LAN.

Nice timing (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385690)

This "Internet" thing was getting out of hand anyway. Consumers will be happy to stay behind a safe and cheap NAT and everything else will be tightly controlled and expensive.

Seriously, I can't see this being fixed in any clean and fussless way soon (or at all). All have been sitting on their hands far too long. It's pathetic, really.

Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385774)

Ding! We have a winner.

Where is the upside for a customer in caring about ipv6? Will they want to decloak when/if ipv6 becomes popular? OMG, my PC is broadcasting an IP address, of course I want your wonderful product to protect me! All ipv6 would do is get every Windows PC pwn3d twenty four hours after deployment and then everyone retreats behind a NAT and dynamic IP again, this time grafted onto ipv6. Or no ipv6 for end users. What is going to happen is that as addresses get tight the big ISPs will put residential users on 10/8 nets and double NAT just like they have been doing overseas for years and on mobile phones since day one. That will free up enough addresses for servers for the indefinite future. And end the open Internet as we have known it. P2P is over, end users consume content like they are supposed to and content producers produce content like they are supposed to. Or we implement IPv6 at a cost of billions in a down economy and uncork the P2P genie again along with untold new services once any host can reach any host as the Internet originally intended.. Put that way it is a real easy decision for the large players isn't it.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (2)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385846)

Or we implement IPv6 at a cost of billions in a down economy

Because investing in infrastructure is certainly no way to get the economy moving again?

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385944)

Only if we want to stimulate the Chinese economy.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386016)

NAT needs a connection state tracker to work anyway (which forms the basis of a stateful firewall). Slap a stateful firewall on v6, no need for actual NAT, and you get better security without the drawbacks. As for dynamic IPs, every IPv6 customer gets at least 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 IPv6s to himself. It's pretty easy to make computers pick one at random. This alone makes IPv6 a lot more resistant to attack than IPv4, since IP netblock scanning becomes all but impossible.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386028)

I think you severely under estimate how long it would take to scan / malware install over the entire ipv6 address space...

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386342)

> I think you severely under estimate how long it would take to scan / malware install over the entire ipv6 address space...

To be so naive again.... they will adapt. Almost certainly before IPv6 spreads to average end points. Server logs will become the new hot item to steal. The webbugs in spam will be a rich trove of IP usage, etc. Then they will start hacking routers so they can see the traffic passing through. Huge lists of active addresses will pass around the underground. And remember, for the customer to receive the benefit their address will be basically static. And to be found at all there is going to have to be DNS or some other service that is aware of you. All IPv6 stops is mindless block scanning against dynamic ip blocks.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386066)

Where is the upside for a customer in caring about ipv6? Will they want to decloak when/if ipv6 becomes popular? OMG, my PC is broadcasting an IP address, of course I want your wonderful product to protect me! All ipv6 would do is get every Windows PC pwn3d twenty four hours after deployment and then everyone retreats behind a NAT and dynamic IP again, this time grafted onto ipv6.

How many times do we have to tell you people, NAT is not a security mechanism. All it does is translate packets from one address to another. All of these consumer NAT routers could just as easily become consumer stateful firewalls. Block all traffic unless originating from the internal physical network, or there is a specific rule to allow it. It's not hard. It's really functionally no different. You just lose those restrictions like not being able to run multiple servers on the same port, or not being able to use protocols like SIP which encode the address in each packet.

If you have enough addresses that everyone can have one, there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386216)

You know all that tech stuff. I know all that tech stuff. Explain to typical cable modem customer why they should care enough to not only pay more or replace hardware but to agitate to get their cable company to implement IPv6. Reread what I wrote, that last part was cast as how a large ISP that is in the content business (as every cable provider and most DSL providers are) will be evaluating the decision. Spend billions on something customers don't realize a need for and cost your content side of the house even more billions or roll out another layer of NAT when IP blocks start becoming too expensive to obtain. Or better, when SELLING off your customer's current IP blocks become more profitable than the NAT boxes. Now remember that the decision won't be made by the ISP's tech people but by the pointed haired bosses. Forget IPv6, ain't happening here. If the rest of the world (who are far more pressed for IPv4 addresses) do it to the point Americans can't reach content something might get done, not sooner. But if the content is attracting non-trivial traffic from the US there is probably enough money to get it up on an IPv4 host.

It is like the death of analog TV. With the combination of government handouts and force most people converted over a decade. BUt not without several retreats in the "Deadline" and there were still people up in arms when the analog signals disappeared.

Same for analog cell service. Right up until the drop dead date there were still areas out here in flyover country running analog only. And again that was government force at work, because they wanted to resell the spectrum and could force the previous users out.

Where is the drop dead date for IPv4? Who would even be in a position to declare one? Won't happen. Sure with enough slipped mandate dates and enough fraud and waste the government will eventually convert to IPv6. But every last .gov and .mil site intended for a general Internet audience will have an IPv4 address.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386084)

All ipv6 would do is get every Windows PC pwn3d twenty four hours after deployment...

Don't worry so much. Microsoft is probably working on a patch for that right now.

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386254)

Or have a simple firewall, rather than NAT?

Re:Why IPv6 is a pipe dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386362)

Ding! We have a winner.
Where is the upside for a customer in caring about ipv6?

Ding ding! No one cares about IPv4 either.

OMG, my PC is broadcasting an IP address, of course I want your wonderful product to protect me! All ipv6 would do is get every Windows PC pwn3d twenty four hours after deployment and then everyone retreats behind a NAT and dynamic IP again, this time grafted onto ipv6.

I guess I should stop reading. People that have opinions but know nothing about technology should not have opinions. Period.

1. NAT has nothing to do with IPv4 or IPV6 - IPv6 NAT works just fine
2. Security has nothing to do with NAT
3. Ever heard of IPv6 autoconfiguration or DHCP? Try to google for it. Ever heard of IPv6 privacy extension? You may want to google for that too....

And nothing is "grafted" on top of IPv6. All these tech works with IPv4 and IPv6, except when they are only supported by IPv6 protocol, like autoconfiguration.

FFS man, read about technology before posting FUD and bullshit.

Apple and D-Link, only? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385696)

Seems no one tried a Fritz!Box 7390 or other current models.

Re:Apple and D-Link, only? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385732)

Or a RouterBoard, for that matter.

Re:Apple and D-Link, only? (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386264)

There's a problem: your average tech can't even suspect Apple to be a "well known" IPv6 router maker ... see? IPv6 marketting was dead on arrival even for those who *deserve* to boast their early mastery.

I never heard of RouterBoard or Fritz!Box 7390 at the local giant computer store, or Staples, Circuit City, Best Buy, Sears, or even RadioShack. I also paid $150 for a router with no physical* sign that it was fully compliant out of the box. *That* is still the problem: even *they* don't care that they *care*

* Only the GUI once you pay and get the device home...webwise? only on the forum, or officially a few shy hints and firmware changelog one-liners.

Re:Apple and D-Link, only? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386104)

Seems no one tried a Fritz!Box 7390 or other current models.

I don't believe it is sold outside of Europe. I suspect the routers tested were those available in the US market.

As to the RouterBoard, mentioned by RichiH, I doubt that consists of an out-of-the-box solution for most people.

Re:Apple and D-Link, only? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386114)

I just installed a 7340, the 'light' version of the 7390 as offered by my ISP.

There's a build in wizard that helps you with 2 or 3 clicks through the settings and it's up and running :)

The past several months there have been quite a few problems with this modem's firmware and that's why I waited before changing out the 7170, things look OK now.
But my main reasons to get it was for it's VDSL and the build in DECT base station.

Re:Apple and D-Link, only? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386200)

I'm running a 7270 with the Lab firmware. The moment it came up it created an IPv6 tunnel before I had even configured it.

It should be interesting to see whether it is able to skip that step entirely when my ISP finally rolls out V6 later this year, after 8 years of sticking their fingers in their ears and going "La la la" about IPv4 depletion. Now if only I can get my web hosts to stop doing that too...

OpenWrt isn't exactly a poster child for IPv6 (3, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385718)

OpenWrt makes you install the ipv6 packages yourself in the interest of keeping the base image small, after all almost nobody needs ipv6 currently. And I suspect Cisco/Linksys is right about the impact on the lower end of their range, even running OpenWrt. I'd have to see a Wrt54GL install the ipv6 packages and actually run under load to believe it. As for their current retail products running on half the ram? Not bloody likely. Me, I'm running a D-Link DIR-825 with 64MB of ram in it, I could probably load the OpenWRT ipv6 packages without a problem.... but AT&T has said word zero about support for IPv6 for residential DSL customers so I'm keeping the 1.3MB of remaining flash open for other stuff.

Re:OpenWrt isn't exactly a poster child for IPv6 (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385954)

I know it's a kludge, but:

What about 6to4 with anycast?

On my Uverse connection in Ohio, a traceroute to 192.88.99.1 is only 8 low-latency hops long (including my own router(s)). For me, it ends up in Chicago, and traverses only AT&T pipes.

If I understand the concept correctly, it should operate similarly anywhere on AT&T's network. (I haven't tried, though, and likely won't until one of the Tomato firmwares grows GUI support for IPV6.)

Re:OpenWrt isn't exactly a poster child for IPv6 (3, Informative)

bbn (172659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386090)

What about 6to4 with anycast?

The problem with 6to4 is that it is asymmetric. Your outgoing packets will be going through that 192.88.99.1 node you found by traceroute. But your return packets will be going through whatever gateway is closest to the IPv6 host you are accessing.

This means that you will be using a lot of different gateways all around the world. And a lot of those are badly configured and give poor quality. One usual problem is badly configured MTU such that all larger packets do not make it through. Ping will work but any actual download fails.

The 6rd protocol is a small tweak to 6to4 such that the return gateway is forced to be one operated by your ISP. This way the ISP can ensure it is working properly and give you a good experience.

I run IPv6 at Home (1)

igb (28052) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385762)

Most of my substantial home machines run IPv6, as do my offsite machines, and I link them via Hurricane Electric tunnels. It's a mix of OSX 10.5 and 10.6, Solaris 10, Open Solaris and Solaris 11, with Apple basestations and such. It all "just works", to the point that once I got the DNS sorted out "ssh machine-in-next-room" goes via IPv6 by default, as does remote access to websites that offer IPv6 connectivity.

But I guess Apple and Solaris isn't a typical "home" network...

Re:I run IPv6 at Home (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385870)

But I guess Apple and Solaris isn't a typical "home" network...

Substitute Solaris with NexentaStore, and it's no more unusual than mine, which includes Free and OpenBSD, Windows, and Linux. ;-)

Still, the article is an interesting one in that it describes in fair detail what the issues are and makes it clear what everyone (ISPs, hardware manufacturers, consumers, etc.) is up against.

Relying on Soekris boxes running FreeBSD, for example, may give me the right to a chuckle, or even be dismissive, but the gnashing and wailing of teeth going on in the real world is interesting to read about, irrespective of whether it penetrates my cloud of smug.

Re:I run IPv6 at Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385960)

Really the only big problem on the PC side is legacy XP installations, Win7 has IPv6 enabled OOTB.

Re:I run IPv6 at Home (3, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386120)

Really the only big problem on the PC side is legacy XP installations, Win7 has IPv6 enabled OOTB.

Windows XP is not a problem either. All it takes is one command, on the command line, and IPv6 is active. It even assigns itself an address using router advertisements. For the DNS server address you will still need IPv4, but in an internal network that isn't really an issue.

Re:I run IPv6 at Home (2)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385948)

And the benefit is? Bouncing all of your traffic around like that is just adding latency. Until there are resources only reachable by IPv6 most people aren't going to get interested enough for ISPs to offer it native.

What happend when (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385778)

What's going to happen when IPv6 becomes necessary? Most ISP's don't provide it, most of the DSL/Cable modems don't support it, and new web sites will need to require it. Unless you are/know a technical person capable of reflashing your software, or you are rich enough to replace all your gear several times until they get it right, you're going to be missing half the internet.

Re:What happend when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385834)

None of the Internet needs IPv6 now. How long will it take for "half the internet" to need it?

Re:What happend when (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385980)

I doubt websites will require IPv6 for quite some years, as nobody would be stupid enough to just cut of a large percentage of the userbase. Where IP addresses will run out is at the user side, people are already behind dynamic IP addresses for that reason, in the future they might be behind a provider-NAT or transparent proxy and no longer get a public IP at all. That setup would still keep old gear running and allow access to IPv4 webpages and give plenty of time to fix/upgrade old router gear. Lets not forget that a random home router goes for as little as $20, so its quite affordable and without much upgrade pressure it shouldn't be that big of a deal. It might however mean that the IPv6 transition might take a long long.

Re:What happend when (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386136)

Current web sites won't require it, but at a certain point new web sites or businesses will only be able to get an IPv6 address or IPv6 subnet. If you want to access their web sites then you will need it. The IPv4 address pool exhaustion is going to hit Asia and Africa first, so you will likely be cut off from new businesses and service in those geographic regions.

Akamai is already doing the work necessary for IPv6 support, but it probably won't be ready until late 2011 or 2012.

One possible transition technology (3, Informative)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386012)

I think we're going to see a transition period (which might last a long time - decades, perhaps) where ISPs will offer native IPv6 transport for their customers who are all setup for it, and for those still using older gear (or a mix of new and old gear), they will setup IPv4 to IPv6 translation servers.

Kind of similar in concept to NAT, but instead of translating from public IPv4 to private IPv4 addresses, it will translate back and forth between IPv4 and IPv6. So, your computer will think it's talking to an IPv4 server (but the address of that IPv4 Server will be a 10.* private address allocated on the ISP's network (on a temporary, as-needed basis). That 10.* address will be mapped by the IPv4-to-IPv6 NAT Server to have all it's traffic forwarded to the public IPv6 address of the computer you are trying to contact.

IPv6 computers will not be able to initiate an 'inbound' connection to the IPv4 host (because it is hidden behind the ISP's NAT server), but IPv4-only devices inside the ISP network will be able to talk 'out' to IPv6-only servers.

At least, probably. This is how it *should* work. If you have working IPv6 cable/dsl modem, this could be done by the cable/dsl modem, hypothetically, with the traffic from your modem to the ISP being IPv6-only, so that there's no need to run your traffic through your ISPs NAT device, but I think that, because of the types of equipment problems this article is about, it's likely ISPs will end up offering such a v4-v6 NAT service to customers.

Re:What happend when (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386294)

True, but sadly people are happy enough with the current, reachable IPv4 internet that they won't care unless somehow there's youtube and facebook killer that is v6 only out there. But you can't be #1 if you start out in a broken-off shard of the internet --I mean, your site's not even counted in official top-site stats, unless it's ipv4

Home IPV4 equipment is buggy too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35385984)

My Actiontec DSL modem can't survive more than about 5 days worth of inbound HTTP and spammer's dropped SMTP connections before it loses its mind and has to be rebooted. How about we fix all the IPv4 bugs before trying to take on IPv6? :D

meta comments (1)

ipfundamentals (2009108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385990)

Certification to some conformance test is a very limited statement of functionality. It does not imply bug-free code.

These logos are frequently seen as an endpoint for development, but in reality they are a starting point. It's a "you must be this tall to go on this ride" kind of thing.

Re:meta comments (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386070)

It actually depends on how well designed the conformance test is. If the conformance test is suitably rigorous and complex in that it tests every feature of the protocols included in the test, then it should give a fairly high level of confidence in the implementation being tested.

Yes, that doesn't guarantee 100% bug-freeness,if you will, but it should verify that it works well enough for use.

To expand on the subject.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386060)

Just about every home router, NAS and IP enabled media device with proprietary firmware has problems. Not just with IPV6, but in general with a lot of their advertised features. I still have some around but the most reliable and usable "appliances" I have are running some for of open source software or firmware. My "home router" supporting two different internal networks and cable modem internet is running m0n0wall, my "NAS" device is a $109 Foxconn mini PC with an internal sata 2TB drive and an external 2TB USB drive running a custom install of Ubuntu server. Total cost was about $325 included the 4TB and it is ROCK fucking solid. My wireless is bridged around the house using a combination Linksys WRT54 series devices running DD- WRT. I'm still using a Seagate Theater+ for some HTPC functions and although not perfect, it still works enough until I can piece together a decent small MINI PC with HDMI.

To restate. Don't expect non enterprise class closed source embedded device to work reliably with all of the advertised features. I know I don't, if they do, bonus and you better get another one before a new broken rev comes out.

This is just an excuse (1)

hedrick (701605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386112)

I have little sympathy for the ISPs. No devices support IPv6 because there's no evidence that any of the networks for which they are intended has any plan for implementing IPv6 within the lifetime of the products. There are enough Apple routers out there to run a trial. What we need is the ISPs to turn on support, and a couple of intrepid web sites to put up attractive content. (An IPv6-only free porn site would be ideal.) Final debugging is going to occur only with real use, and you can't get real use if the pipes don't support IPv6. If the major ISPs even supported decent IPv6/v4 gateways in the right part of their architecture one could turn on tunneling, which seems to be supported by all real IPv6 implementations.

The internet is more than the web. . . (2)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386162)

I basically agree with your sentiment, but you need to test more than just website. It would be good to do things like get IPv6-enabled versions of a some popular games (like the Quake/Doom/Wolfenstein games, CoD, Halo, etc), and IPv6 enabled builds of the game clients also (because, of course, IPv6 Server with no IPv6 client will have no audience). Maybe an IPv6-enabled VOIP/SIP server (let people make free calls in USA, Canada, or Europe, for example).

Try to get as many different protocols as possible being tested by the customers over IPv6.

But I thought... (0)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386158)

Apple was all about the shiny? Now I'm even more confused...

"With the exception of some products by D-Link and Apple's AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme, none of today's CPE can operate using IPv6 well enough for a field test trial, Bulk says."

Re:But I thought... (1)

hedrick (701605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386262)

I believe their routers run a version of BSD. They've had IPv6 support for years. Apple is an interesting mix of flashy products that tend to be on the expensive side with fairly decent underlying technology. It's a mistake for techies to become fans and enemies of particular vendors. That approach to the world is fine for football fans, but not so useful for people making technology decisions.

How to handle the firmware upgrades (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386170)

Given that router manufacturers shipped buggy products...
And given that the solution is a firmware update...
And given that the companies best equipped to handle this are ISPs...
And given that the products are implicitly warranted for fitness of merchantabilty...

I propose that rather than a product recall or class action lawsuit, the manufacturers jointly agree that they will pay a fee to the ISPs for each firmware upgrade performed by their techs for the residential and home office markets. The techs can simply take note of the product ID and serial number of each affected router, and each quarter the ISPs can send a bill to the manufacturers.

The serials will do a pretty good job of preventing cheating, and while the techs are there they can also advise people on setting up their home networks.

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