Wednesday, 17 August 2011

IPv6 routers

One of the biggest challenges for IPv6 deployment is the routers that are installed at homes and offices on the end of DSL and FTTC lines.

There have long been expensive solutions, e.g. CISCO routers, or using something like FireBrick and PPPoE DSL modem. These work well but cost a lot (hundreds).

We finally have Billion 7800N routers - which are new. They are DSL and "WAN" routers. The "WAN" bit just means they do PPPoE as well, and so can work with FTTC or FTTP. They do IPv6, and it works. It does DHCPv6 to get an IPv6 prefix over the PPP link which it announces on the LAN. It handles 1500 byte MTU. It had user configurable firewall for IPv4 and IPv6. It also has 4 port switch and WiFi as well.

This makes it a good high-end router, and it sells for around £120.

Sadly it is till pretty much all we have. We are trying a ZyXEL router as well, but it is not sending DHCPv6 packets at all. It too is high end and costs even more than the Billion.

We spoke to Billion about an entry level router and they said they will have one soon. It will have a 4 port switch apparently (not surprising as probably all built in to the chipset anyway these days so not really cheaper not to). But won't have IPv6, even though this is plainly just software which they have available. It makes no sense. Why launch a new router now which does not have IPv6 - that is just plain stupid.

We are still waiting on anyone else that has an entry level DSL router with working IPv6. I am happy to provide a DSL line with IPv6 to a UK office of any manufacturer that wants to do testing and work with us on this.

We obviously can't keep doing the £120 Billions "free with the service" for much longer as it is costing me thousands - but I want something to replace it.


  1. I do like the billions router, and it seems more stable on my line than the Zyxels, but I agree something cheaper would be nice.

  2. Mikrotik RouterBoard 750 - £29.74
    Zyxel P660R-D1 - £20.00

    Total (incl. VAT & Carriage) - ~£75

    Same configuration (without the Zyxel) works on FTTC too.

    Of course, then there are the hours spent to get it all working...

  3. Would RouterOS work?

    I know it has some IPv6 support but not sure if it can handle it over PPP yet or if it even supports DHCPv6 as it usually uses ND for handing out prefixes.

    Even if it does work you'd still need a seperate DSL modem, only reason I mentioned it was because the RB750 is pretty cheap.

    There's a software verson of it to download if someone wanted to try it.

  4. I appreciate the various comments and emails I have had on this. For the "free with service" solution it has to be cheap, just work, and really has to be a one-box solution with consumer acceptable web interface. I know we deal a lot with techies - this challenge is for those less technicial though.

  5. I've just swapped over to FTTC/VDSL with A&A, and I have a LinkSys WRT320N wireless router (in PPPoE mode). it doesn't support IPv6 at the moment, but I'm planning to install OpenWRT to correct that. Would it be feasible for you to do something similar, i.e. install OpenWRT on behalf of your less technical customers? That may bring the cost down a bit, e.g. my router costs £90 on Amazon.

    I also see that Cisco are now supporting IPv6 in their E-series routers:
    Unfortunately, that's still high-end rather than entry level.

  6. (Sorry, small correction, I meant DDWRT rather than OpenWRT.)

  7. Is this not an opportunity for FireBrick to release a product that fills the gap?

  8. Look here again:

  9. That list is downright misleading.. have you looked at it?

    The Vigor 120 does *not* support ipv6. It's a bridge 'compatible with ipv6' which is a meaningless marketing phrase. The 2130 is not a DSL router. The 2750 is VDSL and useless the UK.

    Never heard of BEC.. I don't think they sell in the UK.

    The 7402R2 never supported ipv6. Billion claimed it did - and I believe they had a version of the firmware that was never released to the public, but as it was not commercially available as such shouldn't be on the list.

    OpenWRT, DDWRT and Tomato can be loaded onto some DSL routers - provided you don't mind using them for DSL, since there are no drivers - so shouldn't be on this list.

    Comtrends are so broken as to not be worth mentioning. We've been down that road already.

    So that leaves Billion 7800N, which AA are shipping, and the Zyxels, which they are testing, and the ciscos which we know about already.

  10. Thanks Tony. That pretty much fits what we thought but is in much more detail, so appreciated.

    We have two more routers on the way to us which claim IPv6 as well as the zyxel. They are a more sensible price even with wifi. So we'll see.