The Glorious Return of End-to-end Connectivity with IPv6

by Jeff Loughridge

For almost 15 years, I relied on hacks and trickery to get servers in my residence to communicate with Internet hosts. I used DMZ hosts, port forwarding, and a variety of tunneling mechanisms. The situation deteriorated four years ago when I moved into a neighborhood with a monopoly ISP that implemented NAT in its infrastructure. The days of contorting my services to work around the address space scarcity kludges are over. End to end connectivity is restored.

My ISP allocated a /64 of IPv6 addresses to me in early 2013. Almost every IP-enabled device in my abode has an IPv6 stack. Some do SLAAC only while others can obtain IPs with DHCPv6. (Apparently printer manufacturers have disdain for IPv6. The printer I bought in 2012 can’t communicate via IPv6.)

I can access my home servers anywhere I go. Verizon’s Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L supplies an IPv6 address with both EVDO and LTE access. If I’m deep inside a building with no wireline IPv6 access, I have to fire up my SixXs AYIYA tunnel to connect to my home servers. This isn’t ideal but is better than no connectivity.

The days of the Internet over HTTP are coming to an end. We’ll all benefit as application designers implement innovative services unrestricted by NAT.


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