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Make First, make sure your equipment supports IPv6 and is properly configured to handle IPv6 traffic since if not then it won't matter if the ISP has IPv6.Fully native IPv6 is always preferred over transitional IPv6 connectivity although its important to determine if the ISP is just using tunnels for IPv6. Along with the benefits of adding IPv6 to your network it can also introduce new problems so prepare for some common issues.
Use Hurricane Electric's World Report (seems to be auto-generated) and pull a report for the country you're in. Then compare ISPs that are available to you. The 'Adjacencies v6' column refers to how many other IPv6 connections to other companies they have (peering) which will improve IPv6 performance. The 'Routes v6' column refers to what portion the part of their network that is available over IPv6. Both columns you can compare to the related v4 columns to get an idea what percent is IPv6 now as well. Now it should be assumed but how far along their IPv6 implementation is at. Now if the ISP has no v6 routes listed then they just don't offer any form of IPv6 to their customers currently. If the ISP has a very low ratio of v6 to v4 routes then they may have a limited IPv6 deployment say where only in trial areas or available in IPv6 trials (e.g. limited to certain areas or types of technology used or even on an opt-in only basis) or just via Relay Services.
Some other things to consider when evaluating ISP's IPv6 offerings:
- Fully native IPv6 end to end support is best vs. using tunnels since those would limit the routes you would be able to access inside the ISP's backbone network and therefore potentially impact performance
- If only tunneled connections available then confirm if you would be connecting to a POP that is local enough to you (at least in same country if in a smaller country or the same region if a larger country)
- If the size of the IPv6 subnets they can offer are enough for your needs without having to pay more to get the equivalent of what you already have with IPv4
If you are a current customer of an ISP without native IPv6 connectivity then make sure to tell them of your interest in that. For business service, then contact this. If no IPv6 options are offered by contacting who handles your account . For residential service, the message could easily get overlooked if handled by customer-facing agents so then make sure they send it up your expressed interest/inquiry to someone with some decision making influence.
If your current ISP doesn't support native IPv6 and there aren't other reasonable IPv6 offerings from other ISPs in your area then in the interim you could consider using :
- Using a managed IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel through a tunnel broker.
- There could be noticeably reduced performance/reliability if using a technology that has to deal with NAT traversal or tunneled to a non-local POP or even if using a free service could be an overloaded/busy server so make sure to shop around.
- Do some tests or ask your ISP if they have their own 6to4 or Teredo relays setup & enable use of them for IPv6-only traffic and use IPv4 for everything else (note: with IPv4 preferred for dual-stack and IPv4 content). Don't bother using those transition technologies from public servers since they are usually not reliable enough.
Other useful resources:
Network World article: Finding an IPv6 ISP