IPv6 in the Home Makes Sense
MEMBER BRIEFING 7 < Main Index
|May 2002||By A. Williams, B. Haberman, R. Kermode|
networks today are predominantly comprised of PCs running IPv4, perhaps
behind a home gateway. There is, however, a trend away from the PC-only
household towards a much richer set of devices and applications involving
entertainment media, conferencing, and command & control that will see
the rise of significantly more complex home networking scenarios. This
paper aims to show that IPv6 will make such home networks possible and
that IPv6-only home networks can be built today which support everything
today's home gateways provide. Further, this paper will show that IPv6
in the home allows applications to be easily deployed that have proved
difficult for IPv4 home gateways.
2. Technical Issues
2.1 The needs of home networking
2.2 What IPv6 Offers
IPv6 offers a significantly improved starting point for general purpose home-networking than IPv4. The main benefits afforded by IPv6 can be summarized as follows:
2.3 Building a Pure IPv6 Home Network Today
A functional IPv6-only home network can be constructed using just one global IPv4 address, and the following three services:
The DNS proxy and NAT-PT (or proxy) interoperate as illustrated in the following diagram:
Diagram shows 3 primary entities
IPv4 http connection, with arrow going to IPv6 only home network, showing mapping between IPv6 connection and IPv4 mapped addresses routed to the NAT-PT.
The availability of IPv6 through the use of 6to4 allows applications to be easily deployed that have proved problematic in IPv4 networks using NATs. Three examples are: home-to-home videoconferencing, control of a device from outside the home (e.g. a VCR), and access to information (e.g. a camera) inside the house.
2.4 Missing pieces
Work on IPv6 has been progressing for many years, but as yet widespread adoption has not occurred. Support for IPv6 in popular operating systems and applications are only now becoming widely available. Key IPv6 specifications are now sufficiently mature that combinations of technologies can be shown to provide workable and useful solutions - for example, home networking.
are under active development in the following areas: name service in the
home using stateless DNS server discovery or multicast DNS, and transporting
IPv6 through IPv4 NATs.
Sufficient standards exist to show that IPv6 can benefit home networks. Vendors of home networking hardware should look to incorporate IPv6 functionality into their products in the near term. IPv6 support may be integrated into the customer's equipment, or in the network infrastructure.
With increasing support for IPv6 in popular operating systems, developers can expect IPv6 to remove application complexities introduced by IPv4 NATs.
4. ISOC Position
Successful introduction of IPv6 at the edge of the network and later in the core of the network, is one of the most strategic requirements for the continued growth of the Internet. ISOC will continue to support relevant standards work, will support related education and training activities, and will be watchful for any public policy issues affecting the deployment of IPv6.
version of this paper can be found at:
6to4 B. Carpenter
and K. Moore
Srisuresh et al
NAT P. Srisuresh
and M. Holdrege
M. Holdrege et al
Tsirtsis and P. Srisuresh
About the Authors
Aidan Williams is a senior research engineer in Motorola's Australian Research Centre. His interests include zero-configuration networks, home networking, security, filesystems, and operating systems. He has extensive experience in network and system administration.
Brian Haberman is an independent researcher concentrating on IPv6, multicast, and inter-domain routing. He is an active contributor to the IETF and is a member of the IPv6 Forum Technical Directorate.
Roger Kermode is a Principal Research Engineer in and Manager of the Sydney Networks Research Lab in Motorola's Australian Research Centre. He co-chairs the IETF Reliable Multicast Transport Working Group and has varied research interests in multicast, zero-configuration, and ad-hoc networking.
This paper produced with editorial support from the IPv6 Forum.
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