Plugging into IPV6 – the next generation

The Internet grows very fast just like how houses are built everyday to cater the masses. This is because with the introduction of smartphones , the growth of Internet went up high. As for developing country , affordable broadband connectivity translates to more and more people are hoping online. Of course just like in real world , you’ll eventually run out of land and  it goes the same for the virtual world – eventually you’ll run out of IP Addresses which means it would be impossible for new devices to hop on and join the World Wide Web.
More after the jump

This is where IPV6 comes in. IPV4 has a limitation of 4.3 bilion addresses whereas IPV6 allows up to 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456  IP Addresses. Plus IPV6 allows each PC in your household to have its own IP address in the world , which is great (there is no need of port forwarding) . There are tons of other added advantage as well which I would love to describe in detail but it gets a little bit too tech. If you would like to learn what’s new about IPV6 – I suggest to read here

The Next-Generation IP
The Next-Generation IP (Picture Source : WIkipedia)

There are many reasons why someone would want to try IPV6 before its deployed by your Internet Service Provider (although there are some Internet Service Providers which have started deploying IPV6 for their customers). One of the main reasons is because of curiosity and this awesome dancing turtle that you can only get to see with IPV6 .  I’ve written this guide to get you start-up on IPV6. This guide is written for home users , I’ll be posting a modified script which I use to turn my ubuntu server into a IPV6 router.
Getting IPV6
To get IPV6 (provided that your ISP does not provide IPV6) , you need to register with a tunnel broker. What a tunnel broker does is that it acts a middle man between IPV4 to IPV6. You basically connect to the tunnel broker via IPV4 and in return it gives you the gateway to IPV6 (Bear in mind this is the definition that I came up with , it might not be accurate but it gives you a rough idea). There are many tunnel providers  – Hurricane Electric , SIXXS  , go6 (these are some major providers). But for this purpose of the tutorial , I would be using Hurricane Electric. The reason why I picked them is mainly because of their servers in Singapore and in Hong Kong – which simply means better latency for Malaysians and those are residing in South East Asia . They do have servers in Europe and in the US too. Pretty much they cover the whole world.
HE Website
HE Website - Simply click Tunnel Broker to get started

Signing up with Hurricane Electric is pretty straight forward , go to TunnelBroker . Sign up and its pretty straight forward. After you have signed up , you’ll have to create a regular tunnel which you can do by clicking here or clicking Create a Regular Tunnel under User Functions.
Afterwards , bam its done. You’ve done. Now the tricky part is configuring it
Configuring IPV6
Its pretty straight forward if you have a static IP. If you don’t , it becomes a bit of cumbersome to update the IP every time. Thankfully there are scripts for it !
Windows 7/Vista/2008
Its pretty straight forward , all you have to do is go to example configurations , select Windows Vista 2008/7 from Example Configuration and copy them to command window and basically you have IPV6 up and running.
Just a few thing to note is that if you are behind a router replace

netsh interface ipv6 add v6v4tunnel IP6Tunnel <your public ip>


netsh interface ipv6 add v6v4tunnel IP6Tunnel <your private  ip>

such as 192.168.1.x or 10.0.x
You could do it by copy and pasting it to terminal just like above for Windows. Alternatively is this script which will automatically create a tunnel for you for dynamic IP , even if your IP changes , this script will pretty much handle everything for you.  – Philip did a superb job in creating this script. Have a look at it over here
So basically , you’ll be copying and pasting the script to TextEdit (or TextMate) & modify it (i.e fill it with your IPV6 details)
Save it as (or something)
Fire it up in Terminal and type sudo chmod +x and then drag and drop to terminal and hit enter/return
Enter your password
Once that is done simply drag and drop the file to terminal window and hit enter !
Now this is a bit tricky , there are many flavours of Linux and each varies slightly with one another on how things are being done. For this purpose , I’ve modified Philip’s script (yes he made one for ubuntu) and added some tweaks to it. It’s pretty much like his OSX tunnel connector but with a slight modification – it updates IP automatically for me , it gives a static IP address to my ethernet that allows me to transform it into a router via radvd (which I’ll write about it another day)
This is my modified script which is based on the original script which I’ve added a few things. All you have to do is replace the values , make it as executable. I’ve only tested this with ubuntu server 11.04 , and it should work with debian-based distros.
Testing IPV6
Its simply , just visit , if you see a dancing turtle – pretty much you are on IPV6. Alternatively there are few IPV6 only sites – for instance you could try Google IPV6 at  . By default your browser would prefer IPV6 site over IPV4 if any.
Its good to hop into IPV6 and explore what it has to offer and get ahead before IPV6 is deployed to the masses . I do hope that ISPs around the world would start deploying IPV6 for their customers. It would make the switch much much more easier. As usual , if you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. In my next review , I’ll see how some applications that can take advantage of IPV6 to offer you better connectivity (hint hint : peer to peer and gaming)

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