Wednesday, June 8, 2011

IPv6 Testing
(revised 2011-06-09 3:00 pm ET)

Hi kids. Today, 2011-06-08, is IPv6 Testing Day. Below is some information about it as well as some useful information as we progress toward manditory use of IPv6 across the Internet. I hope you find it to be a good starting point in your testing.

Today a collection of web companies are trying out IPv6 on their servers to see how it runs, or stumbles, or crawls. Therefore, it is likely there will be some messed up stuff going on across the Internet. Here is a good article on the subject. It is specific to Macs, but actually applies across all platforms:

Preparing OS X for World IPv6 Day on June 8

Some of the problems you may encounter during these tests

• Internet servers not responding
• intermittent connectivity after delays
• unresponsive browsers if you use a built-in search field
• slow loading and pauses in downloads, as well as incomplete downloads; and
• slow or incomplete actions for Internet-related activities that aren't Web browsing, such as syncing and e-mail.

Here are some Apple support articles on the subject:

About World IPv6 Day

IPv6 troubleshooting

What is IPv6?

Configuring IPv6 in Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later

You can find further related articles using this search link:
Here are some IPV6 pages to try out in order to see if you have an IPV6 configuration problem somewhere in your computer or your router:
1) The IPv6 test page:

2) The IPv6 ONLY (no IPv4) test page:
[NOTE: Thank you to Jason Fesler. He runs the site and has been extremely helpful sorting out my own test results. As I have revised this article it is primarily thanks to his help that it has become more accurate and useful.]
This is going to be the usual 'oops the geeks messed it up' routine whereby normal people are at the mercy of geeky people who themselves are at the mercy of those who invented all this stuff. IOW: Chaotic.
I am used to all this after 20 years in the industry. It's nothing new. I expect it. So hang in there if you have IPv6 problems. All of us have about a year to sort it all out before it's manditory. Talk to your router maker, your OS maker, etc. and find out how to get it all working, if it isn't already.
In particular, IPv6 is going to be a bit of a PITA for people with very old equipment and operating systems. There are likely ways to work it out, such as OS updates and router firmware updates.


With the help of Jason Fesler (noted above) and my own insights, I was able to get an IPv6 functionality score of 7/10. One of the points off suggested that I was unable to access IPv6 pages, which proved to be wrong. Therefore, I'd personally put the score at 8/10.

Do I consider this a total 'success'? OF COURSE NOT! I'm seeing lots of back patting articles about what a success IPv6 testing was on June 8th. Clearly it was NOT entirely a total success. Read on...

What I did:

1) As per the CNET article, I made certain that my Mac was properly setup to use IPv6.

2) I changed my router to use IPv6 Mode: Tunnel. I'm using Apple's Airport Extreme Base Station. Here is the setting:

The alternative settings you do NOT want are:
 'Link-local only' (which is strictly for use on LANs, not the internet), and "Host". The host setting is NOT for normal users. It is for those using their 'router' as only a server host to the Internet. If you connect to your router to get to the Internet, you do NOT want the Host setting. If you are using Mac OS X Server, check for details on hosting in its documentation.

After applying the 'Tunnel' setting to my AEBS I got THE YELLOW LIGHT on my router. Here is what it looks like in the settings:

The light indicates that your router has an 'IPv6 Relay Error'. If you click on THE YELLOW LIGHT icon, you get to the details pane:

Don't Panic! This isn't your fault and is one of the bugs still to sort itself out on the Internet. For now, you might as well ignore the problem by clicking on the check box next to 'IPv6 Relay Error', then go to the bottom right of the pane and click on the 'Update' button. The router will then turn OFF the yellow light so you don't have to deal with this particular error any more.

Note, once the entire Internet is forced to go IPv6, we'll have to start worrying about IPv6 Relay Errors. Therefore, expect to see this issue appear again within the next year. If we're lucky, our ISPs and the rest of the Internet will get it right and we can ignore these errors forever. Crossed-fingers.

3) Next up: Your DNS Servers. I've been using for my DNS servers. I'm not going to go into details about how you set up a 3rd party for your DNS servers. Just suffice it to say that you can, as opposed to the default DNS servers your ISP provides automatically in your settings.

I was very sad to find that is not IPv6 ready. I was pleased to read in their blog that they are testing an 'IPv6-compliant DNS sandbox'. You can read about it here:

I tested their DNS sanbox. It too failed. I got a 0/10 consistently when testing with it. I attempted to post a comment to them on their blog. They never posted it. Then never posted anyone's comments! To me that implies that everyone else failed as well. I haven't heard from them via eMail either. Disappointing. There is always the possibility that something was wonked at my end. However, my success when NOT using their IPv6 DNS sandbox suggests otherwise.

Instead, I bit the bullet and let my ISP set my DNS servers. I use Time Warner's RoadRunner. They've pulled severely dirty tricks on their customers in keeping with the Marketing Moron tradition. Therefore, I DON'T TRUST TIME WARNER. But for the sake of testing, I let their deceitfulness slide and used their DNS servers.

Success! This is when I got an 7/10 IPv6 test score. Time Warner's DNS servers are pretty much IPv6 ready. Kewlness.

If there had been enough time, I would have tested every other DNS server I could lay my hands on. Instead I had an evening of dining and romance. Sorry. No doubt there will be ongoing testing and reporting about every DNS server. At some point the hammer will meet the anvil and the lagging DNS servers will either die or be forced to get with IPv6. No doubt that will be fascinating to watch. Hopefully you will find it all just works. Imagine that.


As of this revision of the article, IPv6 Test Day is over and I have nothing more to add. If I discover further details regarding IPv6 and the Mac, I will provide further articles.

Share and Enjoy,


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