IPv6

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 Wifi

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

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

  • Your 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 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. 

Google Wifi then starts sending IPv6 routing advertisements to clients on the LAN to allow them to pick and validate their own IPv6 addresses using a procedure called StateLess Address AutoConfiguration (SLAAC or “slack”).

Turn on IPv6

Android

1. Open the Google Wifi app.

2. Tap the tab then Network & general.

3. Under the ‘Network’ section, tap Advanced networking.

4. Tap IPv6.

5. Switch the toggle to the ON position.

iOS

1. Open the Google Wifi app.

2. Tap the tab then Network Settings.

3. Under the ‘Network’ section, tap Advanced networking.

4. Tap IPv6.

5. Switch the toggle to the ON position and tap Save.

IPv6 Prefix

The IPv6 prefix is the equivalent of a WAN address in IPv4. It’s provided by your Internet service provider (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 primary Google Wifi point in a mesh network.  The non-primary Wifi points use SLAAC to construct their own addresses.

To find the IPv6 prefix for a Google Wifi primary point:

  1. Open the Google Wifi app.
  2. Select the  tab and tap Devices.
  3. Select the device you want, then tap the Details tab.


IPv6 IP addresses

You can see a device’s IPv6 addresses from the device’s details page. Note that each device may have multiple IPv6 addresses listed in the Google Wifi app.

To find IPv6 IP addresses for a device:

  1. Open the Google Wifi app.
  2. Select the tab  and tap Devices.
  3. Select the device you want, then tap the Details tab.

Custom IPv6 DNS servier

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

Google Wifi feature behavior with IPv6 

IPv6 on PPPoE links

Because of poor PPPoE server IPv6 interoperability, Google Wifi does not support the use of IPv6 when connected over PPPoE WAN links.

IPv6 reachability testing

To ensure a robust IPv6 connection, Google Wifi periodically runs connectivity tests in the background.  These tests validate the operation of IPv6 connections from your Google Wifi points 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 opening

Port forwarding is used with NAT on IPv4 networks and is not generally used for IPv6 networks. However, you can still create and use IPv4 port forwarding rules with Google Wifi. DHCP IP reservations (aka static IP reservations) are not used with IPv6 addresses, but Google Wifi still supports DHCP reservations for IPv4 connections. IPv6 port opening (i.e. with no address mapping) will be supported in an upcoming software release.

IPv6 on guest network

Google Wifi supports IPv6 on all LAN connections, including wired LAN and private WLAN. Google Wifi also supports 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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