British peope may like to know. IPv6 Virgin Media

I have given this post a few hours thought and have done some research, however I do still have
some advice and a question.
Advice: This guy is on the case of Virgin Media
to provide IPv6. He regularly updates this web page with news regarding the philosophical/political stance VM take over IPv6 and their (un)/willingness to implement true IPv6 carrier networks.

I also found this which is interesting and directly related to Openwrt and Virgin Media
He shows that he accidentally discovered VM experimenting with IPv6 when he was using OpenWrt
and calls it
VM hiding IPv6 in plain sight

Ok so on to my question, and it is quite a noob question regarding IPv6
I realise IPv6 may be the future of the internet, I have a feeling that it is.
I have, however for many, many, years put off trying to understand it, because of, at first, having no real need to understand it, then because my ISP is not forcing me to understand it because they dont have true IPv6 enabled infrastructure for their customers. By the look of it, only for their engineers.
So my question is this: Some of my devices have full IPv6 capability, such as my Humax Aura PVR, my OpenWRT router, and a couple of other devices, but since my ISP is only allowing IPv6 to IPv4 tunnelling is it even worth my time researching it, can I just stick to IPv4 for now? I'll be 63 years old this year. I dont want to spend my last few years researching something I may never truly need

One other thing: My god, openwrt is a genius firmware. Why didnt I discover it earlier?
My only regret is buying a broadcom router by mistake (a Buffalo) a few months prior to buying a router Openwrt can sit happily on (archer c6 v3.2)with no worries about 5ghz problems in wifi. Great firmware
I am loving discovering RADIUS capabilities - enough of the fan mail though

Since you're from the UK, you can buy a Linksys MX4200 that's ISP locked, then use my (free) guide to remove isp lock, and I'm working on Openwrt

Thank you. I will look into that

I got mine from ebay

You say " then use my (free) guide to remove isp lock" - where can I find that?

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Thank you very much, I will read into that and will look at the Linksys MX4200
Many thanks

The setting in question ("accept_ra") can be "0", meaning "don't accept advertised routes". It can be "1", which means "accept routes if forwarding is allowed". Or it can be "2" which means "accept advertised routes even it forwarding is disabled".

This tells me VM uses IPv6 for some internal stuff but doesn't want its customers to use IPv6 and maybe even announce some IPv6 routes that are just not routed properly outside of the VM network. This pretty much goes along with Cloudflare being routed through foreign networks instead of a direct fiber from VM to Cloudflare and with Comcast not being routed at all.

I'd stay away from any IPv6 offering that is not directly provided and supported by your ISP. Some hosts not being routed at all is a show stopper for me, I don't want to take a break on a Netflix binge watching session to debug why suddenly my Fire-TV stops talking to some streaming servers. And having poor routing (meaning: Higher ping) isn't working for me either. Especially if both things can change from one day to the other. Which will happen eventually because "we never told anyone, we always communicated it would not work" is pretty much the verbal intent of going to break that while trying stuff out.

I'm about 20 years younger than you and even I am not sure if IPv6 will take over during my lifetime. The first stable (!) version of IPv6 has been published 1998, that's 25 years ago. One could say IPv6 had a quarter of a century of trying until now. Google Germany published in 2022 that we're about 60% there. And in my opinion, unless we're over the 95% mark there's no way any service provider (not internet but service in general, think gaming service or streaming service or news portal) will resort to IPv6 only. So IPv4+IPv6 in parallel it is for every service provider for the foreseeable future. Which doesn't exactly put pressure on any ISP that, like VM, tries to spend as little money as possible to change a system that works just fine as is. We managed to somehow create a halfway decent net with NAT in home networks and Carrier Grade NAT on the last mile. With STUN, NAT-PMP or UDP hole punching we have tools at hand for working around the negative impact of multiple layers of NAT, and if everything fails there's TURN. It's by far not a good situation we're in, but with all the things we have at hand to make things usable just now we accidentally created exactly what allows VM and others to not offer IPv6 and get away with it.

If you're into tech and want to play around: Go for it. Lots of stuff works, and finding out what does work and what not is a nice past time activity. But if you just want stuff to work, I guess you won't need to know how IPv6 works ever. Just enable it according to the 4 steps of documentation. If it works, roll with it. If it doesn't, disable and be just as connected.

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Great post, golialive. Those were my thoughts exactly, but every now and then I wonder if maybe things have moved on more than I realise. I certainly dont want to annoy my ISP or get into figuring out stuff I'm never likely to need. I mean even if they suddenly announce they are going to make IPv6 mainstream. they would have to phase out IPv4 over maybe a decade. I'm going to concentrate on security and authentication with Freeradius. I used to work in network setups and maintenance until recently, now I just help out a few very small businesses and domestic setups that a few friends own and make a bit of spare change out of it. I play around experimenting with stuff quite a lot. Yeah great post, enjoyed reading it, thank you.

Your points on IPv6 make sense. It is notable that almost all new entrants to the uk market (new cable companies and 4g broadband) have chosen the awful cludge that is Carrier Grade NAT rather than roll out IPv6

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IPv6 is already here, 65% of my monthly throughput is using IPv6 already, today. As IPv4 addresses have run out, new ISPs entering the market simply won't get (enough) IPv4 addresses to supply their customers (e.g. my ftth based ISP has 64k for their 1.5m customers, and they're expanding quickly). Once you are on cgNAT (like me), you really start caring about IPv6, as that's your only chance left for a globally routable IP (e.g. as VPN gateway, which works relatively well, residential ISPs in Germany offer IPv6 for a couple of years now (although way too many customers keep it disabled), mobile ISPs offer it on demand (enable it in the APN settings), the big remaining problems are the various WLAN hotspots and guest networks, as well as company networks which tend to be configured as IPv4-only).

HE.net is a good approach to get your feet wet.

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I dread the day cgNAT is made the standard in the UK. Strangely enough I was talking to a Belgian friend, a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised at the extent to which cgNAT is the norm in mainland Europe. Luckily my ISP, Virgin Media, say they have more than enough reserved IP addresses to cope with future demand for many years to come. It is why they are so reluctant to implement IPv6.

I have come to realise that IPv6 is seen as the dominion of mobile carrier ISP's as that is how phones work these days when on "roaming" rather than a local network.

From your post though, I gather you do not see IPv6 as a problem any more. To you it is normal. In some ways I wish it were true here but in a lazy way I am happy with IPv4.
Some years ago I experimented, and had success, with v6 to v4 tunnelling but I simply could not, and still do not, see the point of that. It merely adds complexity to a setup with, so far, very little gain. If ever my ISP offers only cgNAT, like you, I would be either demanding a return to routable IPv4 addresses or full implementation of v6.

Like I said, in a post in this discussion, I would only feel the need to understand how to securely implement a fully IPv6 network if I am forced to but, by the looks of it, UK ISP's saw how the future would turn out and planned for it and reserved a shed load more addresses than they would ever need

My mobile carrier, vodafone, is IPv4 only (CGNAT) how about that.

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I hadn't realised the newer ISP's in the UK were doing that.
Thanks for the heads-up. I know exactly the kind of ISP you are talking about and they make it cheap too.
I had never really thought about it and several times have thought, should we change our home network to a cheaper ISP. Now, since reading your post, I realise now, when considering changing provider, a big question to ask is, how much more do you charge for routable IPv4 addresses, if you provide them at all?
Virgin Media are expensive, no doubt about that but VM are simply NTL using the VM brand as an umbrella for advertising purposes. I trust NTL, always have, but since Liberty Global took over, I do have my back to the wall, however I think NTL argue the case well to keep the integrity of their networks, even if Liberty Global have almost decimated customer support

It's not really any different from securely implementing an IPv4 network. All the same principles apply, it's just some of the mechanisms are a bit different.

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OH ! right, well there's always a post that confuses my entire understanding of the universe.
Thank you for that. I think, after your post, I'm just going to sit in my garden shed and contemplate
whether I understand anything at all about networks for a year or two
LOL - I knew I should have become a plumber or carpenter when I was 16 years old -

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Keep in mind that networking implies 1:1 (respectively 1:many) communication - and the other end of your communication might be IPv6-only, thereby excluding you from access with a IPv4-only connection (this already applies to cheap/ low-end vserver offers, the same goes for your potential visitors who may want to access their network/ VPN behind cgNAT+IPv6 or dslite).

Any ISP not offering IPv6 access by (at the latest) ~2015 can pretty much be considered defective, even if you may opt to keep it disabled (not sensible), any ISP has no excuse not providing it.

In my case, I'd have the choice between VDSL2+vectoring with 100/40 MBit/s, provided by the ex-monopolist, they are sitting on plenty IPv4 addresses (dynamic globally routable IPv4 + dynamic /56 IPv6 prefix) or ftth (up to 1000/500 MBit/s and beyond) with a new ISP and cgNAT + semi-static /56 IPv6 prefix. The later is more expensive, but also faster (I've gone with a 400/200 MBit/s contract), but what's more important, it also bought me the ftth connection getting installed 'for-free' - those who declined, won't be able to get ftth for the forseeable future (they will have to pay the building works (800+ EUR) and will have to wait months- to years, until the ISP's construction teams get back to them, to hook up another bunch of late stragglers).

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Not all, just most. I have FTTP from Zen on the BT Openreach network and get a public IPv4 address. I was tempted by EE mobile broadband as i get a great connection on my mobile and have always had good experiences with them. But their 4G mobile broadband is in CGNAT

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