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The Internet Businesses

SixXS IPv6 Tunnel Provider Is Shutting Down (sixxs.net) 56

yakatz writes: SixXS started providing IPv6 tunnels in 1999 to try to break the "chicken-and-egg" problem of IPv6 adoption. After 18 years, the service is shutting down. The cited reasons are:

1) growth has been stagnant
2) many ISPs offer IPv6
3) some ISPs have told customers that they don't need to provide IPv6 connectivity because the customer can just use a tunnel from SixXS

This last reason in particular made the SixXS team think they are doing more harm than good in the fight for native IPv6, so they will be shutting down on June 6.

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SixXS IPv6 Tunnel Provider Is Shutting Down

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  • Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Highdude702 ( 4456913 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @06:04PM (#54099177)

    Shutting down for the good of the internet. Thats a first but I commend them for it! Finally a company thats not money hungry alone.

    • Re: Wow. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So everyone will switch to Hurricane Electric now?

      • I am very bummed about this. I use HE at home but at work can't get their tunnels to work because I'm behind a firewall. SixXS's client works by tunneling over TCP, I think? Which isn't the best thing ever, but it works, and I will miss it.

        • by dimko ( 1166489 )
          call your ISP? In reality was using SIXXS for years now i just dont need it. I still have ipv4 address and open ports. No need for me to use IPv6
          • It doesn't matter how many IPv4 addresses you have. How do you connect to the company that can't get a IPv4 address to address their service but can get IPv6 addresses. How do you reach them without a IPv6 address? This is the state of the world today.

      • At last check Hurricane Electric and Level 3 were not playing nice and refused to exchange ipv6 traffic. Unless that has changed it should influence your choice.

    • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @08:02PM (#54099777) Homepage

      Finally a company thats not money hungry alone.

      Given that SixXS has been free-as-in-beer regarding their services (and free-as-in-speech regarding some of their client side code), it's hard for them to be money hungry.

      • i will admittedly say i have no idea what sixxs is but its sad to see them go since it was a free service, providing a service for people without means.

        • IPv6 tunneling (Score:5, Informative)

          by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @04:43AM (#54101071) Homepage

          i will admittedly say i have no idea what sixxs is

          SixXS was a free IPv6 tunneling service, so that people with only IPv4 provider can still get access to IPv6 addresses through a 3rd party.
          (But more reliably than 6in4 which is dependent on the dynamic IPv4 address, and relies on volunteer servers reached though anycast).

          The idea was to break the chicken-and-egg problem faced by IPv6 migration :
          - content provider don't care about moving to IPv6 because nobody is using it and most people are still on IPv4
          - and ISP not spending the effort to provide IPv6 to their clients, because there's no IPv6 content to justify the move.

          SixXS provided a 3rd party with a very reliable way to get onto IPv6, so at least the "there are no users" excuse isn't valid anymore.

          Now fast forward a decade and a half later and nowadays a lot of content providers *ARE* on IPv6 (e.g.: Google, most universities, etc.), but there are still ISP not providing IPv6 on their network (e.g.: using something like 6rd, which basically works like 6in4 but relies on official servers with fixed address that is owned and operated by the ISP),
          Instead of that ISPs let the users go use SixXS, for the users who want IPv6. So rely on a free 3rd party service, instead of putting the efforts themselves to enable IPv6 for their own users as they should be doing.

          So SixXS is shutting down to force ISPs to setup and listen to their users and provide IPv6, instead of deferring it to SixXS.

          its sad to see them go since it was a free service, providing a service for people without means.

          The thing is, SixXS was providing a service that should in theory be provided by the ISPs themselves, but some are too lazy to implement IPv6 even after almost 2 decades.

          (and it's not for people without means. Technically, it's for people who have the means to pay an ISP for a connection, but said ISP is damn shit lazy and doesn't care to provide something more modern than last century's IPv4)

          • So is there any benefit to using an IPv6 tunnel? Are there IPv6 only sites?

            • by higuita ( 129722 )

              -you get a rebuild protocol that tried to fixed many shortcomings of ipv4. you get encryption (ipsec) build in, dropped all the obsolete ICMP packets and now ICMP is useful to control the traffic (so no more drop all ICMP as you will lose features)
              -you get million of address and enabled you to get public IPs for all your machines, even internal machines. so NAT is not needed anymore. Firewall is still needed, but your home router will mostly stop being a router+NAT+firewall and be router+firewall
              -As no NAT,

              • One very direct effect of all of the above :

                You won't be required to use cloud service for every single small thing you need to talk to.
                (security cameras, weather station, talking toy, etc.),
                instead you can trivially access any gizmo directly over the web simply by opening it in your router/firewall.

                IPv4 remote access : you need to sign up an account at their service. You gizmo and the app on your smartphone are constantly talking to this server.
                This makes a big central failure point : the company server ca

              • by higuita ( 129722 )

                i forgot the cons:

                - 4 times bigger IPs make harder to memorize then, but IP is for computers, users use dns. Also, first half is netwkork and stay the same (just like 192.168.1.) and the second half is usually the machine mac address, but can also be manually assign hex "numbers" (like dead:beef) :)
                - requires ipv6 support in all network layer. that is why it took so long to deploy, each layer was expecting for the other layer to deploy. Now most bigger sites have ipv6, almost all backbones have ipv6, all O

          • by houghi ( 78078 )

            What are the reasons for an ISP to do IPv6? People still can go to Google with IPv4, so no reason there.
            Not enough people will change provider over this, so no incentive there.
            They are now able to ask extra money for a fixed IP address, because IP addresses are scarce, even though this would mean that you can't get an IP address instead of not getting a fixed one.
            They would need to invest and that is never a nice thing to do.
            They need to replace a lot of hardware or at least reconfigure it and that will cos

            • What are the reasons for an ISP to do IPv6?

              There are tons of advantage of IPv6 over IPv4.
              One of them being a vast supply of addresses (128bits vs. the overcrowded 32bits of IPv4).
              It's auto-configured (you just plug a device into a network and it automatically gets IPv6 working. Routers directly hand out prefixes, no need to organise stuff through DHCP. In IPv6 DHCPv6 is only used to hand out configuration options)
              Every device gets a single address that is routable anywhere on the internet. (No need of NATs, masquarading, and private address ranges).

  • IP tunnels (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @06:13PM (#54099219) Homepage

    Not at all sure that any kind of tunnel is appropriate in this day and age, anyway.

    Hell, just push all your traffic through us! It's fine! All that unencrypted email and DNS lookup? Don't worry, we're just converting to IPv4 for you!

    My home router has every IPv6 option known to man, including all kinds of tunnel and DHCPv6 etc. kind of connectivity.

    My ISP supports none of them. The problem is not that I couldn't get on the IPv6 net. It's that my ISP has zero interest in helping me do so. Until that's fixed, it's pointless worrying about another way to get to the same sites/services as I already do.

  • by cdwiegand ( 2267 ) <chris@wiegandfamily.com> on Thursday March 23, 2017 @06:54PM (#54099415) Homepage

    You can now setup an Amazon box and tunnel through them (finally!!), so it was great but makes sense, saves costs for them.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @06:55PM (#54099419) Journal

    Fond memories of using something like this, if not SixXS itself over 10 years ago. Our ISP didn't do v6, and we needed to test with it. Tunnel providers to the rescue! Now even my local ISP that everybody complains about provides v4 and v6. It's been in Windows for... how many versions now?

    I'd forgotten all about these tunnel providers. News of one shutting down and a trip down nostalgia lane seems appropriate. So long, and thank-you for providing something that we needed at the time.

    • Hope HE doesn't decide to kill theirs, as, even though my ISP, Cox, has native ipv6, for some damn reason, it doesn't work reliably for me. I got fed up with fucking with it, and got another HE tunnel, which *just works* whereas Cox ipv6 *doesn't* --at least for me--

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I had trouble with my IPv6 route expiring, until I just wrote a script to run "ipconfig /renew6" every minute. Spamming router solicitations is not the best solution but it works.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      ..you can't disable it easily in windows either.
      the tunnel especially.

      and even when you disable ipv6 on purpose, it will get enabled again! JUST GREAT! (ms is doing it to defeat firewalls/filters for the phone home).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most people are not affected by ipv6 so they don't care. So do the established ISPs. Most established ISPs sit on a big ipv4 pool and it would cost them to upgrade their legacy infrastructure. Newer ISPs are more hurt by ipv4 drying up as they don't get big chunks of ipv4 addresses any more, and need to do carrier grade NAT and similar strategies. So there is some motivation by them to aid in ipv6 adoption. Also, they do everything from scratch so deploying dual stack is easier for them.

    However, as long as

    • And how long do you think after the Internet is ipv6 only will every device we own will get a permanent ipv6 address?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      What we need is ipv6 only, mainstream, services, to force home user facing ISPs to support ipv6, and ipv6 only customers, to force website owners to support ipv6.

      Which won't happen for as long as IPv4 addresses are still available. No business in its right mind would go IPv6 only if it had a choice because they'd cut off 90% of their potential revenue. And that bad PR would affect the other 10%.

      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @08:54PM (#54100017) Homepage Journal

        Almost all mobile phone providers in the US are switching over. They never really offered full IPv4 in the first place, with their networks fully NATed. But they're introducing real, routable, IPv6.

        From personal experience, on T-Mobile if your device supports it, you can even use IPv6 only (that is, your device only gets an IPv6 address, not even a NAT'd IPv4.) If you try to access an IPv4 only site, T-Mobile's DNS provides a virtual IPv6 address that can be used to route outgoing TCP connections to that address via a proxy.

        Now, some people would be unhappy with that situation if, say, Comcast were to do the same thing. But I must admit, I suspect 99% of the population would never notice, and over time, the few that do would find, say, their employers scrambling to have IPv6 gateways etc so they can use normal VPNs (the gateways to office networks, not the proxies for bypassing Netflix nation blocks I mean), and other applications that require full two way communication.

        IPv6 is very nice. It really is a shame there's so much inertia.

      • There are ISP's that do IPv6 only today. IPv4 is a service that runs on top of IPv6 rather than beside it. NAT64/DNS64, 464XLAT, and DS-Light are all examples of IPv4 as a service running on top of a IPv6 only transport.

      • by BradMajors ( 995624 ) on Friday March 24, 2017 @06:41AM (#54101399)

        No business in its right mind would go IPv6 only if it had a choice

        Facebook Moving To An IPv6-Only Internal Network

        http://www.internetsociety.org... [internetsociety.org]

        • >> No business in its right mind would go IPv6 only if it had a choice

          > Facebook Moving To An IPv6-Only ***INTERNAL*** Network

          Big deal, there are places with Novell IPX or Windows NetBEUI *INTERNAL* networks. Try *EXTERNAL* IPV6-only as in "only potential customers with IPV6 can access your website". Guaranteed economic suicide.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    At work we use a tunnel from Hurricane Electric. It has worked well for the past couple of years. We have a fiber link from Cox Business, so I decided to see if Cox had IPv6 in our area. I emailed our contact at Cox asking if they could provide us with IPv6 addresses. Their reply was that we would need to justify a need for so many IPv6 addresses. I replied and explained that a /64 is the smallest IPv6 subnet they can give out by design. They did not reply.

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      a /64 is the smallest IPv6 subnet they can give out by design.

      "What a coincidence, that's what the guys we got our /64 from said too!"

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