Cisco® IPv6 Readiness on Linksys® Products

 

Cisco

The Internet is running out of IPv4 addresses and those addresses will likely be depleted this year.  Mobility, video and virtualization, and the consumerization of IT are imposing increasing demands on the network and every device that uses an IP address must eventually support IPv6.  Cisco as a company is committed to supporting the transition to IPv6 in all its products and services it provides to service providers, enterprise customers, small businesses, and consumers.  IPv6 is foundational to the next generation Internet enabling a range of new services and improved user experiences.

As Internet Service Providers (ISPs) begin rolling out IPv6 service to their customers, consumers will need new routers and gateways that support IPv6 to participate in this next generation Internet.  Cisco has been and will continue to be a leader in the development of IPv6 so consumers can feel confident that our Linksys home networking products will provide top line performance now as well as provide a foundation for the future.

The following Linksys E-series and EA-series Wireless Routers are now shipping with IPv6 support enabled by default.  Some of these routers may have previously shipped without IPv6 capable firmware and can be upgraded via a firmware update.  Firmware can be found on our e-Support website.

Routers IPv6 Testing
E900 - Linksys E900 Wireless-N300 Router *
E1200v2 – Linksys E1200 Wireless-N300 Router *
E1500 – Linksys E1500 Wireless-N300 Router *
E1550 – Linksys E1550 Wireless-N300 Router with Speed Boost *
E2500 – Linksys E2500 Advanced Dual-Band N600 Router *
E3200 – Linksys E3200 High Performance Dual-Band N600 Router *
E4200 – Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N750 Router *†
E4200v2 – Linksys E4200v2 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N N900 Router *†
EA2700 - Linksys EA2700 Dual-band N600 Router with Gigabit  
EA3500 - Linksys EA3500 Dual-Band N750 Router with Gigabit and USB *†
EA4500 - Linksys EA4500 Dual-Band N900 Router with Gigabit and USB *†

* Routers have passed the UNH IPv6 Ready Gold (Phase 2) certification
† Routers have passed the UNH IPv6 CPE test (see https://www.iol.unh.edu/services/testing/ipv6/cerouter.php for test details)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I don't have any of the above IPv6 Supported Linksys routers; will my Internet connectivity be impacted?
Connectivity will be impacted when websites begin to offer services, content, etc. that is only available via IPv6.  Cisco anticipates that IPv6-only websites will not be widespread for several years.  However, there may be specific popular sites that may offer extra content or services via IPv6 exclusively within the next 12-18 months. As IPv4 addresses have run out, ISPs will be employing new mechanisms that allow one IPv4 address to be shared among multiple homes, which may impact connectivity. As this occurs, many ISPs plan to offer IPv6 at the same time so that users may continue to have their own IPv6 address, which does not need to be shared. It is important that the gateway support IPv6 in order to take advantage of this IPv6 service as it arrives.

Q: Which IPv6 features are supported, and why don't I see many options in the UI?
In order to support the best possible user experience, the routers will automatically be configured whenever possible, with the least inconvenience to consumers.

The routers listed above support all the required IPv6 features for certification, as well as all features used by the major Internet Service Providers worldwide (for example: DHCP, PPPoE, and 6rd).

Q: What if a user has an IPv4 router like a WRT model and websites and client devices are using IPv6, will users be able to access those sites and use those client devices on a home network?
If the home router is IPv4 only then the answer is NO. However, if the ISP serving the end user supports a technology known as “6rd” then end user can access IPv6 services by obtaining a home router that also supports “6rd” (an example is the E4200).  Most websites are dual-stack, so, if you can’t use IPv6 you can fall back to IPv4.  This will be the case for a while, until we start to see IPv6-only content and applications to appear.

Q: What is 6rd?
To enable IPv6 devices in the home to access IPv6 services outside the home, the E series routers will support a special feature known as 6rd (rd = Rapid Deployment).  Using 6rd, an IPv4 connection is established between the home router, acting as a 6rd CE (Customer Edge) device, and a 6rd BR (Border Relay) device (which is deployed by the ISP). After the connection is established, IPv6 devices in the home can connect to IPv6 websites (the connection allows IPv6 to be carried over IPv4 via a tunneling mechanism). The IPv6 devices in the home will benefit from full IPv6 connectivity via this “rapid deployment” scenario.

Cisco engineers authored the 6rd specification which is officially known as RFC 5969 “IPv6 Rapid Deployment on IPv4 Infrastructures (6rd)” and which was formally approved in August 2010.

Q: Which sites are using IPv6 now?
Here are websites that are keeping track of which websites now support IPv6:

Q: Which client devices are using IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv6 support has been in Mac OS X since the release of 10.3 – IPv6 is also in iPhones and iPads. Microsoft Windows releases have supported IPv6 since Vista (but there are also upgrades to support IPv6 in Windows 2000 and XP). Android based devices also support IPv6. In addition, there is also Linux 2.6, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Essentially all major OS in use for the past 12-18 months have had production quality IPv6. Of course, client devices are only part of the IPv6 story.

Q: What if I have an older Linksys Router like a WRT54G; will I have support for IPv6?
We have no current plans to provide IPv6 to our older wireless-G or wireless-B routers.    If customers have older wireless products they may want to consider upgrading to a new wireless-N router.  This will provide the IPv6 support they will need for future-proofing their home network while also providing the networking bandwidth to connect multiple devices such as computers, game consoles, tablets, Internet-enabled TVs, smart phones etc to the Internet and to each other.  Older wireless-G routers may not be able to provide the support to stream multiple video streams simultaneously seamlessly.  As customers upgrade their mobile phones every few years and even their computers every few years, consumers should consider upgrading their home router so they are getting the latest technology to connect all the new devices they are bringing into their home.

 

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