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What is IPv6?

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is an advanced networking standard that allows devices to use a much larger number of unique IP addresses than in the older standard (IPv4). With billions of devices already on the internet, and continuing to grow at a rapid rate, the older IPv4 standard is unable to provide enough unique addresses for new devices.

Additional IPv6 benefits

  • More efficient packet routing thanks to a prefix allocation scheme that allows data to flow more efficiently through routers on the internet.
  • More flexible address scoping rules designed to support a broader range of usage scenarios for all types of networks.
  • Streamlined network software stack processing thanks to the elimination of router fragmentation and separation of optional information into secondary headers. 
  • Built-in support for advanced security mechanisms, like IPSEC.
  • Direct peer-to-peer communication is now possible anywhere on the planet due to the elimination of the need for Network Address Translation (NAT).
  • Better network management scaling than stateful protocols (such as DHCP for IPv4) due to client-driven address configuration. 
  • Many of the core connectivity operations in IPv6 use multicast communication, which means clients can register to be awakened only when they receive certain types of communications. This allows for greater power savings without the use of platform-specific mechanisms such as Wake-on-LAN.

How IPv6 works with Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi

Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi use a dual-stack implementation, which means that IPv4 traffic and IPv6 traffic may coexist on the same network (both wired and wireless). Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi do not support IPv6 transitional protocols such as 6to4 or 6rd. Additionally, Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi do not support IPv4 over IPv6 or IPv6+.

For IPv6 to work, all of these entities must support it:

  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) (must also support IPv4; we don’t support IPv6-only connections)
  • Your client devices 
  • The operating system and applications running on your client devices

When IPv6 is enabled on Google Nest Wifi or Google Wifi, it uses the DHCPv6 protocol on its WAN port to request an address from your ISP. If the ISP supports the DHCPv6 protocol and has provisioned addresses for routers, then the router will obtain its own IPv6 address. 

If the ISP has not provisioned addresses for routers, then the router will obtain its address using a procedure called StateLess Address AutoConfiguration (SLAAC or “slack”). The router also requests an IPv6 prefix from the ISP, which is used to send the IPv6 router advertisements to the clients on the LAN, to allow them to derive their own addresses.

If the ISP provides a usable prefix, Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi will start sending IPv6 routing advertisements to clients on the LAN to allow them to pick and validate their own IPv6 addresses using the SLAAC (or “slack”) procedure.

Turn on IPv6

  1. Open the Google Home app .
  2. Tap Favorites  and then Wifi  and then Settings  and then Advanced Networking.
  3. Turn on IPv6.
  4. Tap Save .

Find the IPv6 Prefix for a router or primary Wifi point

The IPv6 prefix is the equivalent of a WAN address in IPv4. It’s provided by your ISP. Routers and clients use the prefix to assign the rest of the address and generate the complete 128-bit IPv6 address. The prefix is only associated with the router or primary Wifi point in a mesh network. Additional points use SLAAC to construct their own addresses.

  1. Open the Google Home app .
  2. Tap and hold your device's tile.
  3. At the top right, tap Settings  Device information.
  4. Your IPv6 prefix (IP address) is located under “Wi-Fi information.”

Find IPv6 IP addresses for a connected device

You can find a connected device’s IPv6 addresses from the device’s details page. (It can take up to 1 minute for the addresses to show.) Note: Each device may have multiple IPv6 addresses listed.

  1. Open the Google Home app .
  2. Tap Favorites  and then Wifi  and then Devices.
  3. Tap a device to view its' details.

Custom IPv6 DNS server

You can set a custom IPv6 DNS server in the Google Home app.

Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi feature behavior with IPv6 

IPv6 reachability testing

To ensure a robust IPv6 connection, Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi periodically run connectivity tests in the background. These tests validate the operation of IPv6 connections from your Wifi devices to the Google infrastructure network. The results of these periodic tests may vary and, depending on the robustness of your ISP’s IPv6 network, your IPv6 connection might become disabled. The tests run automatically and will attempt to restore IPv6 service.

IPv6 port forwarding or port opening

Port forwarding is used with NAT on IPv4 networks. IPv6 networks don’t use NAT for port forwarding. DHCP IP reservations (aka static IP reservations) are not used with IPv6 addresses and aren’t required for IPv4 connections. Learn how to set up port forwarding or port opening.

IPv6 on guest network

Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi support IPv6 on all LAN connections, including wired LAN and private WLAN. Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi also support guest networking for IPv6, however your ISP must provide a network prefix length that’s less than 64 bits to allow for proper subnet addressing. If the ISP’s prefix is 64 bits, IPv6 won’t be available on the guest network.

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