Enable IPv6

  • 31 December 2012
  • 71 replies

in 2013 it is way time to add IPv6 support to every things we connect to the Internet.

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71 replies

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IPv6 is faster than IPv4 (mostly because your carrier isn't intercepting your traffic and violating your privacy).

IPv6 is faster than IPv4 (mostly because your carrier isn't intercepting your traffic and violating your privacy).


Whether or not ISPs intercept, that piece hardly bears out the 'IPv6 is faster than IPv4' claim:

What can we conclude about relative performance of IPv6 to IPv4 from these measurements?

These measurements show that in a large set of 1:1 individual comparisons where the IPv4 and IPv6 paths between the same two dual stack endpoints are compared, the two protocols, as measured by the TCP SYN round trip time, are roughly equivalent. The measurements are within 10ms of each other 60% of the time.

While the connection performance is roughly equivalent once the connection is established, the probability of establishing the connection is not the same. The current connection failure rate for IPv4 connections was seen to be some 0.2% of all connection attempts, while the equivalent connection failure rate for unicast IPv6 is nine times higher, at 1.8% of all connection attempts.

There is still some scope for improvement here.
My own experience of running a dual stack for the last couple of years is that there is no obvious performance difference (approximately 25% of my Internet traffic is now IPv6). Part of that, of course, is that unlike most consumer routers my router is quite pokey and can handle IPv4 NAT without impacting performance much.

At some point in the future, as IPv4 becomes more scarce and hosting sites increasingly can only get IPv6 addresses, it's likely that IPv4 traffic will continues to be supported using proxy/nat devices (either in the ISP network or on the customer router). At this point, it's entirely possible that IPv4 will start to become significantly slower than IPv6.

It is very important to note that I'm talking specifically about Internet traffic here, not about private network traffic. It is fully possible to continue to use IPv4 within your home/office network for the foreseeable future even if your Internet service becomes IPv6 only. In this case your gateway router would continue to perform IPv4 to IPv6 NAT. Of course there some disadvantages to this: NAT breaks many protocols, increases latency and limits throughput. Especially on typical home routers (which are almost always underpowered) IPv4 to IPv6 NAT will start to become a limitation.

This will take time and mainstream networks and services are not at that stage yet. Realistically it's likely to be years away. However, I would personally prefer Sonos address this sooner rather than later as I reckon there's a lot of problems that need to be identified and ironed out, and I'm sure most of the IPv6 early adopters would be keen to help debug some of these scenarios.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is I don't think there are currently many (if any) Music Services which support IPv6 and, as this is likely to be the first major IPv6 issue Sonos has to solve, it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation as there is nothing for Sonos to do tests against.


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Google and Microsoft are both all about IPv6... I know Google Play Music supports it and would imagine that Groove Music would as well, though I don't have a way to confirm that. Also, I believe I had seen that Pandora is available through IPv6 now as well.

As a cloud services provider, Amazon is still working to support it (the exception is their elastic load balancer setup, which is currently their recommended way to IPv6-enable services hosted through Amazon)... but even while the core functionality of an app/service might not support it, many of the CDNs bringing the music to your system do support it on their networks.

Since I'm responding to a post about this topic, I'll also mention that US mobile carriers hit a milestone where over half (almost 55%) of their internet traffic is now over IPv6. I realize that cell carrier traffic has no direct bearing on Sonos, but it nonetheless indicates that IPv6 use is still increasing at a pretty good clip... especially since at the start of the year, that number was only about 37%.

I'm with Majik here... sooner rather than later would be the best way to handle this. IPv4 will likely be around in some form for a long time to come... but as IPv6 use keeps increasing, IPv4 will quickly become the laggard of the internet, and IPv4-only devices like Sonos will end up suffering because of it. Comcast is already looking into IPv6-only, with IPv4 mapped over IPv6 using Cisco's proposed Mapping of Address and Port (MAP) standard, which is working its way through the IETF. Comcast is already moving over 30% of its internet traffic over IPv6, and hopes for it to be 50% by the end of this year. As more services become available over IPv6, the numbers will begin to increase at a pretty staggering rate. I'd much prefer my Sonos devices to be on native IPv6 at that point rather than using a translation mechanism that brings down performance.

World IPv6 Launch day was over 4 years ago now... IPv6 deployment and use is continuing to grow at some rather impressive rates in many parts of the world. Let's see this happen sometime soon... please?
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SOO... a post over in the Plex forum for Sonos just made an AWESOME case for IPv6 on Sonos...

Right now, in order for Plex and Sonos to work, it needs to use a port forward in the router, which allows Plex's cloud servers to make a connection back to the Plex server on your LAN. The problem is that with IPv4, those Plex servers are telling Sonos to play music from your router's WAN address, and some routers don't handle that kind of request - a WAN address request from a LAN device - gracefully, causing no connection to be made and no music to be played.

BUT... if Sonos supported IPv6 and were connected to an IPv6 network... instead of a port forward, just a firewall rule would be needed to allow the Plex cloud servers to talk to the Plex server, and Sonos and the local Plex server would be able to communicate directly since the Plex server's direct global IPv6 address would be given to Sonos instead of the WAN address of the router. Both devices are on the same network, communicating directly with each other without needing to go out to the router, then back into the LAN.

Now, I know Plex is an unusual circumstance since it's a media server running on a local network, and data about that server needs to be retrieved by Sonos from Plex's cloud servers in order for the connection to be made... but it's just another example of how IPv6 could be beneficial.

Oh... and while I'm here... I did some looking at the IPv6 numbers since my last update at the beginning of July... this is definitely the year of IPv6 growth so far. I won't update anything now... my next post for that will be in late December... but I'm really happy to see the levels of growth around the world that are being seen!
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While it's on my mind... A tweet last night from Comcast's VP of internet service about Sky's IPv6 rollout in the UK caught my eye. Apparently Sky is 90% complete upgrading customers' gateways to support IPv6, allowing millions in the UK to now access sites and services with the new protocol from their home broadband connections.

Coincidentally, since my last check in July, the percentage of UK users using IPv6 has increased 50% over where it was just 2 months ago (yeah, I'm gonna make you do some work and go back to page 2 to see where it was then, so you can figure out where it is now)! 😃
IPv6 is only 20 years old, why would Sonos need to support it? My ISP (Comcast) reports that over 50% of its traffic is IPv6. Most people who have it don't even know it is there because "it just works". Meanwhile Chromecast Audio and Google Home supports IPv6 just fine and is quickly catching up to Sonos in terms of services offered.
Userlevel 4

Your local network will remain on IPv4, as the home is never going to have enough devices that you need to go to IPv6. Again, the players will continue to function perfectly fine.

Wrong wrong wrong. My new home network was built IP6 native. v4 devices are in an translation ghetto.
Welcome to 2016.
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So yes, it's the end of the year... time for another look at how IPv6 use around the world continues to grow. As in the past, these numbers are based on the percentage of traffic to Google and its various services that is handled over IPv6.

- The US saw IPv6 use finish this year at just over 31%.
- Germany is finishing this year with over 27% of traffic using IPv6.
- Belgium IPv6 use grew almost 25% this year and is now over 48%.
- Japan is finishing 2016 with about 14.3%, almost 50% growth over the course of the year.
- Greece continues to significantly increase IPv6 use... up to 29.5% now, also growing about 50%.
- Switzerland is now over 30%.
- Sweden continues its slow climb with now over 3.2% of traffic using IPv6.
- Canadian IPv6 use more than doubled over the year, now up to about 16.3%.
- The Netherlands doubled their IPv6 use over the course of this year, going from 3.8% to over 8%!
- Brazil almost doubled their IPv6 use as well... going from 6.5% to 11.8%!
- But the BIG winner this year is the UK! They started 2016 at about 2.5%... but a major push by some ISPs there to get IPv6 going has resulted in an increase slightly over 680% this year, bringing them to just over 17%!

Other countries with growing IPv6 use include France (14.21%, up from 11% in June), Estonia (16.3%), Ireland (8%), Hungary (7.5%), Romania (7%), Czech Republic (10.8%), India (14%), Saudi Arabia (5.25%), Malaysia (12.3%), Ecuador (18.6%), Peru (15.8%).

A sure sign that IPv4's useful life is growing shorter is that the number of transactions involving transfer of addresses between companies has significantly increased, as companies look to offload the IPv4 addresses they no longer need and make some money from their sale to companies that are slow to adopt IPv6 and thus still need those IPv4 addresses to do business. There are actually companies dedicated to the IPv4 transfer market now, brokering deals between sellers and buyers!

It's time for Sonos to get into the 21st century of the internet and add IPv6 support!
ignore! 😃
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So, it's been a while since I've done an "IPv6 Around the World" post... just over a year and four months... and it looks like lots of growth has gone on in that time in many countries.

The US is up to 34% of users using IPv6, 97M users
Canada is nearing 19%, 6M users
Germany is up to 36% of users using IPv6, 26M users
Belgium is just over 50% of users using IPv6, 5M users
France added another 50% from my last number, to bring them over 21%, 12M users
The UK has increased up to 20% of users using IPv6, 12M users
The Netherlands added over 50% of their previous number, now at almost 13%, 2M users
Ireland has doubled the percentage of their users using IPv6, over 16%
Sweden has more than doubled their user count, up to 6.8%

In fact, Europe in general has seen some pretty big growth in IPv6 over the past 16 months... some countries I didn't even put numbers down for previously now seem to have some pretty significant deployments. Norway and Finland I didn't even list before, and they're at 14% and almost 20% respectively... Poland is at over 8%... Hungary is almost at 12%... and back to list form for other parts of the world. :)

India has almost doubled their IPv6 user percentage in the past year and a half... they're at 26% now (over 125M users!)
Japan is over 24% now, over 28M people
China's percentage seems low, but almost 3.6% of their population is using IPv6, meaning over 26M people
Malaysia has doubled their IPv6 user percentage, now over 25%, 5.5M users
Saudi Arabia is just shy of doubling their number over the past 16 months... 10.2% now, 2.2M users
Down under, Australia and New Zealand are at 14% and 16% (~3M and 675K users) respectively
Brazil has more than doubled their IPv6 user reach, now over 24% (34M users)
Peru and Ecuador are at over 15% and 20% (2M and 1.4M users) respectively.

Visit the Cisco 6Lab for maps, charts, and more... http://6lab.cisco.com/stats
And see if you might be using IPv6 and didn't even know it... http://www.test-ipv6.com
Userlevel 7
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I can do IPv4, anything I need done with it is easy and painless.

IPv6 has eaten hundreds of hours of my time and a lot of time from support folks too, just trying to get a bit beyond the very basic stuff up and running. Reserved IP addresses via DHCP6 in particular has been bringing me to tears. The best suggestions for tracking down systems involve WireShark and additional subnets on my router to try to isolate the suspects. I've gotten about 1/3 tracked and assigned but that last big batch just aren't cooperating.

If you just want to grab a consumer grade router and user device and slap them on the net IPv6 is pretty much invisible but going beyond that is not an easy task.
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A landmark statistic was reached yesterday for a large and well-known site that uses IPv6. Obviously this statistic is limited to users of this particular site, but it's a pretty far-reaching site. 🙂

Yesterday (May 27), for the first time, over 50% of US Facebook users (50.75%) were connecting to the site over IPv6.

Just a couple of additional numbers...
49.99% of Facebook users in India were using IPv6 two days ago.
41.76% of Facebook users in Germany (5/1; 41.66% 5/27)...
54.8% of Facebook users in Belgium (5/21; 54.4% 5/27)...

Source: Facebook IPv6 Statistics

Stanley, regarding DHCPv6, you're right that it's not anywhere near as easy to set up as DHCPv4 is... send me a PM and I'll see if I can help you out with it. That's kinda off-topic here. 🙂
I just checked the ifconfig output from both of my new One units, and they're reporting addresses from the LL and my ULA and Global prefixes on their br0 interfaces. The ULA and Global host suffixes are basic universal EUI-64 derived addresses.

The HTTP daemon doesn't appear to be listening on any v6 address; at least on ports 80, 443 and 1400. The global address responds to ICMPv6 echo requests. A simple nmap scan doesn't reveal anything interesting.

They're not doing anything via DHCPv6, and the RA daemon is ignoring my RDNSS headers (/etc/resolv.conf only includes the v4 resolver addresses from DHCP).

The /tools.htm page also includes fields for ping6 and traceroute6.

At a minimum, I'd expect the EUI-64 host suffix for global prefixes to be disabled and replaced with a RFC 4941 privacy address.
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Well that's a positive development here... I have to wonder if maybe Google might be behind a push for IPv6 support... Google makes big use of IPv6, and with Google Assistant support coming later this year... :)

Hopefully, though, Sonos doesn't take the Google/Android approach to IPv6 and leave out support for DHCPv6 in the end. I don't run SLAAC on my main network (too messy with all the random "privacy" addresses - they still know your devices are all coming from the same network), and such a decision might also further impair business use of Sonos (businesses like control over what's on their network).
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Interesting, I just looked through my gear and am seeing IPv6 addresses for my fairly new Play 1s and my Play 5 gen2 but not my older Zone Player 80s, Boost, Play 3s or my gen 1 Play 5s.

That also answers some of my issues with strange stuff IPv6 stuff showing up on my LAN.
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It could have something to do with Airplay maybe... because only my Sonos One speakers have IPv6 addresses (though only link-local, as I mentioned before that I'm using DHCPv6)... and my other speakers, which are known to not support Airplay, don't have IPv6 addresses.
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I'm seeing this from my Gen 2 Play 5 and similar from my two new Play 1 speakers, not the fancy Ones.

ath0 inet6 addr: fe80::XXXX:fef8:b31f/64 Scope:Link

br0 inet6 addr: fe80::XXXX:fef8:b31e/64 Scope:Link
inet6 addr: 2600:XXXX:5701:5eaa:fdff:fef8:b31e/64 Scope:Global
Unlike IPv4, IPv6 interfaces can, and will typically, have multiple addresses configured.

IPv6 addresses beginning with:
  • FE80: are Link Local (LL). Every interface configured for IPv6 will have at least one.
  • FDxx: are Unique Local Addresses (ULA), and are loosely analogous with RFC1918 IPv4 private address ranges (10/8, 172.16/12 and 192.168/16). They're designed to be routable within an organisation, but must be filtered by gateways connecting to the outside.
  • 2xxx: or 3xxx: are globally routable. These addresses allow end-to-end connectivity. across the internet. This will be expanded if the 2000:/3 range is exhausted.
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The br0 addresses are the ones that matter, at least in a SonosNet system. It's possible that in a non-SonosNet setup the ath0 interface could have a global address instead, since it would only be using the WiFi connection... that might explain why it also has a link-local address.

Interesting though that you're seeing it on a newer Play:1 (which I completely missed earlier)... guess that blows away my theory on it being for Airplay.
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So, I changed my network around... ditched DHCPv6 for SLAAC only... that let my two Sonos One's and Beam pick up global IPv6 addresses. Then I tried providing a streaming URL using a specific IPv6 address (rather than a dual-stack hostname)... and alas, it didn't work. :(

It seems to think about it for a bit, making it seem like it wants to make the connection... but nothing ever plays. No error message though, which is interesting.

Baby steps though... at least newer devices are starting to include IPv6 stacks... maybe they'll actually take advantage of them outside of the local network sometime in the future. 🙂