At least 25% of the world's host computers ready to run native IPv6

What we learned from World IPv6 Day

What we learned from World IPv6 Day

Brisbane, Australia - Monday, 20 June 2011

At least 25% of Host Computers Currently IPv6 Ready

As a contribution to World IPv6 Day (8 June 2011), the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre Research and Development Lab (APNIC Labs) conducted extensive IPv6 reachability tests, using Web-embedded techniques. This activity now continues as part of APNIC’s long-term commitment to measure and analyse IPv6 uptake. The tests used client-side browser 'javascript' to test the IPv4, dual-stack, and IPv6 capabilities of millions of Internet hosts worldwide.

The tool has shown at least 25% of the world’s host computers are ready to run IPv6 native mode right now. They only lack an IPv6 route into the global Internet, because they are either using an older home router, or more commonly, their ISP does not provide native IPv6.

APNIC Director General, Paul Wilson, said the APNIC client-side measurement technique allowed APNIC Labs to pick up IPv6 capability, which other measures of normal browser behaviour and other IPv6 measurement methods can miss.

"There are benefits of this data collection at two levels. Web service providers are able to access the data to assess their clients' IPv6 readiness, while the aggregated results produced by APNIC show global trends and capabilities," Mr Wilson said.

The measurement technique uses a number of tests that rely on the Domain Name System (DNS) in a conventional manner, and an unusual 'IPv6 Literal' which bypasses the DNS and invites the client to fetch IPv6 using the given address. When taking a measurement via the DNS, built-in mechanisms in a number of popular operating systems suppress host's IPv6 capability from being used if there is auto-tunnel-only access.

"Up to seven distinct tests were carried out with each client. In the vast majority of cases, we saw that in the worst case fewer than three (3) in 10,000 clients will experience any problem with fetching from a dual-stack website if you decide to deploy dual-stack enabled web services right now," said Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist, APNIC.

This 'dual-stack brokenness' figure is decreasing as older host software systems are upgraded with regular vendor updates. APNIC will continue to review the impact of IPv6 dual-stack deployment. This research represents one of the largest independent IPv6 measurements during the testing period. This 25% figure indicates the financial viability for service providers to invest in replacing home router equipment.

"We encourage ISPs to consider replacement strategies to leverage this capability. From now, all upgraded home user equipment must be IPv6-enabled," Mr Wilson said.

Data is Key to Encouraging IPv6 Deployment

Although IPv6 awareness among technical decision makers in the Asia Pacific is high, there is a need for data to help encourage business decision makers to move the momentum from IPv6 address distribution to IPv6 readiness and deployment.

This is apparent from APNIC surveys into regional IPv6 readiness. There is a significant disparity between those who have a formal plan for IPv6 deployment and those who have the budget to fulfil the plan. To get that investment, the community needs to provide those decision makers with the data to make a clear risk assessment.

Operational and active measurements like those produced by the APNIC IPv6 Tracker ( are setting the new benchmarks for ongoing assessment of IPv6 deployment.

Regional and Global Impact

As one of six providers worldwide of reverse DNS services directly under the IP6.ARPA anchor-point, APNIC is able to measure a proportion of the world's IPv6 reverse DNS activity.

"There is a relationship between reverse DNS queries and application level connections . Our measurements show that the World IPv6 Day test probably doubled the amount of IPv6 connections worldwide," Mr Huston said.

APNIC has run dual-stack Web services for several years now. On World IPv6 Day, APNIC received approximately double the normal volume of IPv6 connections to its public website.

APNIC's client measurements also show that "native", or non-tunnelled, IPv6 is generally no slower than IPv4 and is actually faster in some circumstances.

"It has often been claimed that IPv6 is slower than IPv4. Our measurements show that this is simply a myth," Mr Huston said. APNIC Labs and other organizations will present the findings from World IPv6 Day in detail at a full-day IPv6 Transition Plenary during the APNIC 32 Conference in Busan, South Korea.