Back in 2004 when Simon and I went full time with Black Cat one of the first things I did was sort out an ADSL offering, including native IPv6. We were one of the first UK ISPs to offer this (possibly the first; I know A&A had been doing tunneled IPv6 for a lot longer, but I’m not sure exactly when they enabled IPv6 on the PPP session. Also Bogons were fairly quick to enable it as well). By the middle of 2004 I was fully IPv6 enabled; my colo box had a native connection, my entire home network (a /64 for the wired, a /64 for the wireless) was configured, BCN had multiple native IPv6 connections to other ISPs (such as peering over LoNAP). By and large it just worked; I remember at one point looking at a traffic graph link from someone in Australia and them indicating surprise that I’d come in over v6. I hadn’t noticed anything different than normal, which is exactly how it should be.
When we sold BCN in 2007 unfortunately one of the casualties was the v6 support. The ISP that took over the ADSL wasn’t setup to be able to continue the v6 support, nor were RapidSwitch, who took over most of the hosting (I note with sadness that RapidSwitch still don’t seem to be offering v6, though they keep saying it’s a work in progress). So I stopped having any v6 for some time, refusing to slum it with a tunnel.
This changed at the start of last year, when I sought out new hosting for the. I ended up selecting Bytemark, partly because I knew of their commitment to v6. I’d chosen Sonic as my US access ISP, again partly because they offered an IPv6 tunnel service (while not as nice as native v6 over the DSL I felt that a tunnel provided by the DSL ISP was acceptable for access). However a combination of not having a machine that was always on at home, and a dynamic IP on my connection, meant that I never got round to configuring anything permanent up.
Recently I got around to buying a little low powered box to be always-on and this week I finally looked at configuring it up as the tunnel endpoint, planning to do some sort of screen scraping of the web interface to automatically update the tunnel broker information for the rare occurrences when my IP changes. The first nice surprise was that Sonic are now doing static IPs for free (previously you could only have a block of 8 for $20/month extra). That makes things a lot easier. So tonight I configured up the little server as the tunnel endpoint, installing radvd and some basic v6 firewalling. As expected my laptop sees the RAs, automatically configures everything up and my ssh sessions start to go over IPv6 instead. Looks like my phone also does the same. I’m not entirely sure what the NAT on the ADSL router is doing and if inbound connections will fail if there’s nothing outbound holding the translation entry active, but I’m sure I can work around that if it turns out to be a problem. I care more about access than hosting anything on the end of my DSL anyway.
This means I’m finally almost back to where I was nearly 8 years ago, just in time for World IPv6 Launch day.