IPv6 considered a problem by some users

I have a Google Blog Search Alert looking for posts over IPv6 in my RSS reader. What strikes me is the number of posts explaining how to disable IPv6 in Windows Vista, MacOSX, Ubuntu and other flavours of Linux.

It looks like disabling IPv6 makes web browsing faster for a lot of people, independently of which operating system is being used. One guy even wrote in one of his postsIn order to fix this problem” . IPv6 was supposed to be a solution, not a problem.

I can think of several rational explanations for the poor user experience. If the DNS query for a web site first returns a AAAA record and you do not have IPv6 running smoothly, the browser will first time out before trying the IPv4 address. If the IPv6 tunnel broker, gateway, etc is overloaded, you are up for a painful experience, too.

However, it is worrying that people need to disable IPv6 on their computers. If and when there will be IPv6-only web sites, they will not be able to access them.

  1. Franck,

    If you have IPv6 on all the time, I am surprised your connection to this IPv6-enabled blog was with IPv4 ;-). This would tend to demonstrate that transparent, failproof IPv6 connectivity is still not there.

    My experience with IPv6 on one of my children’s Vista box can be summarized as follows:

    – Plain, unconfigured IPv6 stack: Slower browsing experience in general, some unreachable sites from time to time
    – IPv6 with configured Teredo tunnel: still on the slow side, but no more unreachable sites.
    – IPv6 turned off: best browsing experience.

    On my Mac, I only turn IPv6 on during ICANN or IETF meetings. In other environments, including my DSL connection at home, it tends to slow things down. On my wife’s Kubuntu box, IPv6 is off, too.

    Bad implementation at the OS level is one only of the reasons. It looks like there are also issues with home routers, and especially their built-in DNS resolver which cannot handle EDNS0 or choke on AAAA records.

  2. Franck Martin

    I don’t have this problem with Mandriva, I have my IPv6 on all the time, that when I go to a network using IPv6 and IPv4 I’m surprised to access sites with IPv6, without knowing.

    So yes bad implementation on many systems.

  3. It’s the bad implementation. In Ubuntu for example, if you leave ipv6 on it will try to establish an ipv6 connection – regardless if you have one available or not – and by the time it times out you’ve already lost time

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