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US Has More IPv6 Eyeballs Than Asia, Because of Apple 162

Posted by timothy
from the yummy-apple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has been checking to see who's using IPv6. According to the company's tracking, half of all IPv6-capable systems seen by Google are Macs, helping the US land in fifth place in percentage of IPv6 users world wide, ahead of China and Japan."
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US Has More IPv6 Eyeballs Than Asia, Because of Apple

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  • Linux much (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:55PM (#25756171) Homepage Journal

    Apple has a far greater market share than Linux desktops, but you can't completely ignore that Linux has been pushing IPv6 for some time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LincolnQ (648660)

      Except I'm under Linux and no ipv6 sites seem to work for me (default Ubuntu installation). If Apple is making it work by default, well, that's better than what Linux has been doing.

      • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:39PM (#25756585) Journal

        From the article, I picked up the reason for this result (but not until after posting a similar question, I must confess). Most home computer users, regardless of their platform, tend to connect to the internet through some sort of router device. Most of these routers use IPv4 only, and use NAT to share the Internet connection.

        Many Mac users, instead of using some 'generic' WiFi access point, instead use Apple's Airport Extreme router. Per the article, Airport Extreme's have support for IPv6 built right into the router, and the router will *automatically* route IPv6 traffic using the 6to4 standard (which basically tunnels the traffic over the IPv4 connection from the ISP).

        I suspect that if you connected your Ubuntu computer (or Vista, or XP if you installed IPv6 manually) to the Internet using an Airport Extreme, then IPv6 would work fine under Ubuntu too. That is, I think the 'magic' here that makes IPv6 "just work" is in the router, not in the OS.

        • Many Mac users, instead of using some 'generic' WiFi access point, instead use Apple's Airport Extreme router. Per the article, Airport Extreme's have support for IPv6 built right into the router, and the router will *automatically* route IPv6 traffic using the 6to4 standard (which basically tunnels the traffic over the IPv4 connection from the ISP).

          Indeed. I was quite impressed to read about that. I have been thinking for quite a while that router makes should be doing exactly that, so it's good to see that at least one of them does.

          On the quite opposite hand, there's Vista. While the article pointed out that Vista sets up 6to4 automatically when it has a globally routable IPv4 address (which is a good thing, of course), there's an annoying other side to that coin. See, Vista announces that it routes through its 6to4 address, but then in actual fact doesn't (it just drops the packets silently). It has been annoying me quite some times when I've connected to a public WiFi access point at my university, only to see every IPv6-enabled site (including my own!) fail miserably since my Linux laptop will try to route through one of these Vista black holes. That's Microsoft for you...

        • Given that so many routers (virtually every one I have bought) see to run Linux, and the Linux kernel supports IPv6, why do they not support IPv^ as well?

          Are there any real costs or difficulties in the way, or is it just that they cannot be bothered to do until customers actually demand it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Kadin2048 (468275)

            Unless you are looking at a fairly strange cross-section of consumer routers, most of them do not run Linux. Only a handful of the ones offered by Linksys, D-Link, etc. do. The majority run VxWorks, I believe.

            A few years back there were actually more Linux-based routers but as cost pressures and competition have increased the manufacturers seem to have moved away in order to reduce the parts count. Broadband routers are the only pieces of equipment I've seen where the hardware specs have actually fallen,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Andy Dodd (701)

          I think it's more likely due to the fact that Apple has typically had an advantage in educational institutions. Most residential ISPs still don't provide IPv6 support, but I would not be surprised if nearly every college and university in the U.S. supported IPv6 to the end user.

          Doesn't matter if your router supports IPv6 if your ISP does not.

        • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday November 14, 2008 @10:47AM (#25760161) Homepage Journal

          That's exactly right. To get IPv6 working on my system at home, I just set up the router. My Powerbook, my Ubuntu machines, and my wife's Windows Vista machine, all automatically picked up IPv6 and can all connect to http://ipv6.google.com/ [google.com]

          For those rolling their own router boxes, you can see what I did here [multiply.com] (caution - it's my blog and this is a tag that brings up a bunch of articles, start reading at the bottom...) I used 6to4 as well. It's worth getting a static IP address if you plan to use 6to4, and it's also worth noting that some ISPs, notable BellSouth/AT&T FastAccess, actually block use of 6to4, for reasons I don't really understand. Before wasting any time on it, try to ping 192.88.99.1 from a machine directly connected to the Internet. If you get responses, you can do 6to4. If you don't, you're going to have to try one of the IPv6 tunnel brokers, which is a supremely inefficient way of doing everything and makes you dependent upon the goodwill of a third party.

        • Have the security issues (i.e. the fact that it makes it trivial to forge addresses) with 6to4 been fixed yet? If not, enabling 6to4 by default is not a great idea...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by QuantumRiff (120817)

          FYI, for those running routers that can run DD-WRT:

          http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/IPv6#6to4_Setup [dd-wrt.com]

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        It doesn't work on my Mac - Tiger, or my Ubuntu or my Vista.

        I think it is the fact I'm using a Netgear router rather than an Airport router.

    • I use linux- does that mean that I have IPv6 support? Is it built into recent kernels?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:29PM (#25756505)

      you can't completely ignore that Linux has been pushing IPv6 for some time.

      Yes, yes we can.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rvw (755107)

        you can't completely ignore that Linux has been pushing IPv6 for some time.

        Yes, yes we can.

        Sorry? It's the change we need!

    • Re:Linux much (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @11:03PM (#25756753)

      This isn't just a matter of Mac vs Linux desktop market share.
      Google's numbers say that the following percentages of users are IPv6 capable, broken down by OS:
      2.44% for Mac OS
      0.93% for Linux
      0.32% for Vista

      The article I saw on this at Ars Technica attributed this difference(despite the fact that all three OSes are IPv6 capable by default) to the fact that mac users have a tendency to use other Apple hardware, and Apple's Airport routers use 6to4 to tunnel IPv6 by default.

      If linux has been pushing ipv6 (what does that even mean? does your kernel complain when it has to handle ipv4 packets?), perhaps it's been pushing in the wrong place, i.e. on the desktop, or as an end to end solution, rather than in routers, and with tunneling.

      • Re:Linux much (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @11:57PM (#25757077) Homepage

        don't you need both? if you have a router that supports IPv6 but your OS isn't configured to use IPv6 then you're still not going to be able to access IPv6 hosts. Windows XP still doesn't have IPv6 enabled by default--you need to go to network connection properties and add the protocol "Microsoft TCP/IP version 6" in order to enable IPv6 support.

        so it's not a matter of it being IPv6 pushed in the wrong place, but a matter of networking hardware manufacturers being too slow to adopt IPv6. that's not really up to OS developers.

        most existing networking equipment can probably already support IPv6 with a firmware update. but a lot of consumer networking equipment vendors are probably waiting for IPv6 to gain more traction so that they can a separate line of "new and improved" IPv6-enabled routers/switches/etc. to cash in on unnecessary equipment upgrades.

      • by jd (1658)
        I don't know about anyone else's definition, but I would consider distros marking themselves as Phase 2 Certified as one way you could define "pushing IPv6". Another might be to enable IPv6 by default in the kernel (since we're talking about IPv6 capability in the article, rather than usage), or to use IPv6 by default on all connections where it is supported at the kernel and application level, whether or not it is genuinely supported end-to-end. Far as I can see, very few distros are certified for IPv6 (I
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aliquis (678370)

      The BSDs has had IP v6 support forever to (and OS X has probably had it as long as it has existed to.) But what good is it if you can't get a real IP anyway. Proxy ftw? For what reason? *care* as long as the ISP don't give me an IP v6 network.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:58PM (#25756197)

    IPv6 Eyeballs! Run!!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:00PM (#25756227)
    OK, so I have 7 computers in my house. They all run either Linux or Vista. (Some both as two are dual boot). They are all IPv6 capable. However, my Linksys NATing router is not. So unless my machines find an ISATAP server somewhere, there is going to be no information that Google gets showing that all my machines could do it if I just sprung for a new router. I would imagine there are a lot of people in the same situation. I guess if they are trying to find out how many homes are capable - then maybe this is the right way. But if they are trying to just see how many COMPUTERS - then it isn't going to be correct.
    • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:21PM (#25756419) Homepage Journal

      However, my Linksys NATing router is not.

      Exactly. I feel like left out - what use is having an IPv6 capable machine, if my ISP blocks all my IPv6 traffic simply because they don't support it?

      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:13AM (#25760403) Homepage Journal

        my ISP blocks all my IPv6 traffic simply because they don't support it?

        IPv6 is available via 6to4 on IPv4 connections, or if your ISP really does block it (rather than just not support it), you can also try a tunnel broker.

        The big advantage of the Apple set up is that their Airport routers have 6to4 support built-in. (The article is a little confusing, it's Apple's routers that are providing the advantage, not their desktops.)

      • by Hatta (162192)

        What good is a phone call... if you're unable to speak?

    • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @11:19PM (#25756843) Homepage

      That's not a false negative, that's you misunderstanding the test. They are testing users who are actually IPv6 enabled, not just users running IPv6 capable hardware.

  • I have 4 machines at home, all run Linux and do are IPV6 capable. Most mac users have one mac though. I'm guessing they are only checking the external facing router?
    • Google modified their home page to try to load a URL over IPv6; if it works then the client supports IPv6.

    • Most mac users have one mac though.

      That doesn't sound right to me. What is your source for that statistic? I would think the percentage of multiple computer owners is probably roughly the same. I've had multiple Macs (and PCs running Linux and FBSD) for years, and so do several people I know. I realize Apple is often perceived as being more of a CE manufacturer recently, but there are still plenty of Mac-using geeks -- in fact, I think there are more than there used to be.

    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:49PM (#25756653) Homepage Journal

      Most mac users have one mac though

      Nonsense. I've visited the homes of Mac-only users. They usually have two or three. Where things get interesting however, is that they tend to be using an Airport Router. (Which caused me no end of grief when I didn't spring to have WiFi added to my last laptop.) As someone mentioned higher up in the discussion, Airport routes IPv6 by default. Something that most other consumer routers (typically paired with Windows and Linux machines) do not.

    • I have 5 machines, all Mac. What are you talking about?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Okay, I've got four macs, an airport and an iPhone. Each one gets an IP. I know the airport and the Macs support IPv6. Not sure about the phone.

      My anecdote cancels your anecdote?

      • by rugatero (1292060)

        My anecdote cancels your anecdote?

        I call your anecdote and raise one poll. [mactalk.com.au] More than 80% of Mac owners polled own more than one - of course the sample is rather small and not necessarily representative, but it does weaken the GP's uncited claim.

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:12PM (#25756323) Journal

    I don't believe any US ISPs have begun providing IPv6 connections yet, have they? So, does this statistic reflect that not only are Macs IPv6 capabable, but all of them are automatically setting up an IPv6 tunnel over their IPv4 connections? If so, what tunnel broker are they using as an endpoint (is Apple itself providing a tunnel broker service for them)?

    Or, instead of using a tunnel, are they using the technology (don't remember the name, maybe 4to6?) where an IPv6 address is automatically generated from the public IPv4 address, and then IPv6 packets are sent to an IPv4 anycast address which automatically routes them to the nearest 'public' 4ot6 gateway? Unfortunately, I don't believe the latter solution works well behind NATted connections, which I think would dramatically reduce these statistics, so the sheer size of the Mac IPv6 'population' suggests to me that tunnels are being used instead?

    I've recently been playing with IPv6 via Hexago Freenet6 [go6.net], but truth be told, there's really not much use for IPv6 yet, since very few apps (like IM clients [skype: I'm looking at you], network games, etc) or websites actually support IPv6 on the other end yet. I've also noticed a problem with packet loss and high latency with Freenet6, so I'm thinking I'm going to try to find a different tunnel broker.

    • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:19PM (#25756393) Journal

      Guess I should have read the article first. Looks like this result is because Apple's Airport Extreme AP automatically sets up 6to4 (which is the 'anycast' based system I was referring to previously, but got the name backwards), and because the router itself supports 6to4, there's no problem giving the systems behind the router a public IPv6 address in the sub-net of the 6to4 address.

      I didn't realize there were any IPv6-capable home routers on the market (other than routers that have been hacked to replace the OEM firmware with OpenWRT or DD-WRT). Kudos to Apple for showing some leadership here. Anyone know of any other makers with affordable home routers with IPv6?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:16AM (#25757197)
        Well, you went through
        • Denial (No way! Apple would have to be tunneling)
        • Anger (Damn it, I shoulda read the article... Apple IS tunneling. Why hasn't anyone told me!!), and
        • Bargaining(So is anyone ELSE doing tunneling? I'd like to get one, but Apple's so expensive)

        After you Google for it, it will be Depression (*SIGH* No, nobody else is doing it any cheaper.) and finally Acceptance (Apple is so Awesome! I really shoulda switched sooner)... so, spare yourself the depression and just buy one. k? :)

        • Hate to break it to you, but owning an Apple is the depression stage. =) (/negative mod-bait comment)
    • I got a /48 from Hurricane Electric, I used OpenVPN to become my own tunnel broker. Probably the most useful thing so far for me has been making machines behind NATs accessible without having to get ports forwarded (this is often a pain if the eg someone doesn't remember their router's password).

      This could obviously be done with RFC1918 addresses on v4, but it's hard to pick a range there because someone somewhere will end up being incompatible with it.

  • The fact that according to this chart, the country in Africa most adapted to IPv6 is Nigeria. Guess those scamsters are getting more sophisticated daily, or maybe the 400k this woman gave them [slashdot.org] upgraded a few routers.
  • By Default... (Score:4, Informative)

    by actionbastard (1206160) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @11:23PM (#25756873)
    IPv6 is enabled on all OS X installs as the default. Few, if any, users -either at home or in a corporate setting- turn it off. At my site, IPv6 is not enabled on the network so all Macs have it disabled in all system images.
  • Sonic.net will, if requested, deliver IPv6 packets to their DSL subscribers. Unfortunately, their upstream connections are IPv4, so they're just offering tunneling at their end.

    • Yeah, but you say that like it's not as good as the real thing. I'm a Sonic.Net customer, and I use an AirPort base station as my IPv6 tunnel endpoint. My home network is fully dual-stack, and the Sonic.Net tunnel is just as reliable as the rest of their service. I'm a huge fan of Sonic.Net.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 14, 2008 @09:04AM (#25759355)

    !PASA 6vPI tuo yrt ot enoyreve egaruocne ylgnorts I .smelborp yna deciton t'nevah I dna pu tes ot hguone ysae demees tI .yppah yllaer neeb ev'I dna ,won thgir 6vPI gnisu m'I

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