Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Networking The Internet Apple

Apple Under Fire For Backing Off IPv6 Support 460

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-ipv6-for-you dept.
alphadogg writes "Apple Computer came under fire for back-pedaling on its support for IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol, at a gathering of experts held in Denver this week. Presenters at the North American IPv6 Summit expressed annoyance that the latest version of Apple's AirPort Utility, Version 6.0, is no longer compatible with IPv6. The previous Version, 5.6, offered IPv6 service by default. While home networking vendors like Cisco and D-Link are adding IPv6 across their product lines, Apple appears to be the only vendor that is removing this feature."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Under Fire For Backing Off IPv6 Support

Comments Filter:
  • is all the world will need for the next 20 years, right?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by V!NCENT (1105021)

      I was really puzzled about this, so I went to 'investigate' the issue a bit. Turns out Airport is not a router, but a sort of wireless switch (no modem). So this is probably another speed optimization as packets are 96bit smaller and your home network probably isn't filled with more than 4294967296 devices.

      The first thing that comes to my mind is how in the hell this is going to work when you want to access the internet in such a configuration. The utility or physical Airport station probably converts this.

      • by Cinder6 (894572) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:06AM (#39693609)

        Source on this? It seems to do the important parts of routing, at least for a home network configuration--assigns IP addresses, allows port forwarding, etc. And it certainly can do IPv6--the option was removed, for some reason, from the newest configuration utility. Also, it obviously works when connecting to the Internet, unless it has a really sophisticated Slashdot emulator :)

        You can still download the old Utility: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US [apple.com]

      • by rogueippacket (1977626) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:04PM (#39694023)

        So this is probably another speed optimization as packets are 96bit smaller...

        Actually, an IPv6 packet can be smaller than an IPv4 packet. The IPv4 header contains a lot of garbage not required by IPv6. See for yourself. [cisconet.com]
        Secondly, IPv6 addresses can be concatenated. Only if you're using an extremely complex IPv6 address will your router need to process a large source or destination header.

      • by samkass (174571) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:51PM (#39694337) Homepage Journal

        I was really puzzled about this, so I went to 'investigate' the issue a bit. Turns out Airport is not a router, but a sort of wireless switch (no modem). So this is probably another speed optimization as packets are 96bit smaller and your home network probably isn't filled with more than 4294967296 devices.

        The first thing that comes to my mind is how in the hell this is going to work when you want to access the internet in such a configuration. The utility or physical Airport station probably converts this. I don't think Apple is that retarded...

        If you investigate further, you'll see it's just the Admin tool that lost support when they rewrote it, and it has nothing to do with the actual Airport device. Just like Final Cut Pro X, I'm sure Apple will re-add features over time.

      • Turns out Airport is not a router, but a sort of wireless switch (no modem).

        Your terminology is not quite standard.

        So this is probably another speed optimization as packets are 96bit smaller and your home network probably isn't filled with more than 4294967296 devices.

        My comparatively ancient and underpowered WRT54G manages IPv6 just fine.

        But more to the point, the Airport Extreme itself is perfectly capable of routing IPv6, so your point is moot. It's just that IPv6 support is no longer included in the configuration utility.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:07PM (#39697091) Homepage

        I don't think Apple is that retarded...

        I'm sure I'll be modded flamebait for this, but I take it you don't have much dealing with Apple products in a support capacity. They can be pretty retarded. Little things like:

        * Improper grounding on wifi cards in the macbook air
        * Driver/kernel integration with DHCP
        * Signed binaries becoming corrupt requiring a full reinstall (or similar)
        * Removing features and adding steps to perform basic tasks while calling it 'streamlining'
        * Removing compatibility for no apparent reason (eg. samba removal)

      • by HJED (1304957)
        Actually the airport express is a wireless AP, which can and is designed to act as a router.
        The airport extreme is a wireless router with some modem functionality, it can also act as a wireless AP.
        Both of these have DHCP and print/file sharing servers.
    • by smpoole7 (1467717) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:05AM (#39693597) Homepage

      I guess I'll try one more time. Whether in this *specific* case it's a good or bad thing, remember that most of us are running small IPv4 networks. IPv6 adds needless complexity and simply isn't needed.

      I just wrote an article on this for an industry trade magazine. One gem of a quote came from a vendor who makes audio-over-IP remote equipment (i.e., remote broadcast from a site away from the studios). He said, and I quote, that his company is IPv6-ready at the hardware level, but hasn't added it yet, because -- here's the quote -- "not one single customer has requested it." In fact, those who have added it get support calls from people: "why is this so slow?" "Why can't I connect?" The answer? Disable the IPv6 unless you KNOW you need it! :)

      Remember: the shortage of IPv4 addresses is on the PUBLIC INTERNET. (An extremely important distinction.) A small business with maybe 10-20 devices on an internal network doesn't care about IPv6. At all. Now, those of you with hundreds of clients on a large network, might indeed want it. But for most of us, all we'll need is an IPv6-capable router/modem at the Internet gateway. Inside the facility, who cares?

      • by evanbd (210358) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:24AM (#39693727)
        IPv6 makes VPN a lot easier and more reliable. Many small businesses care about that so that their employees can work while at home or traveling.
      • by pankkake (877909)

        > A small business with maybe 10-20 devices on an internal network doesn't care about IPv6.

        IPv6 isn't only about having more adresses. For instance, stateless address autoconfiguration is interesting in a local network.

      • by amorsen (7485)

        But for most of us, all we'll need is an IPv6-capable router/modem at the Internet gateway. Inside the facility, who cares?

        You are planning to run IPv4 on the inside NAT'ed to IPv6 on the router? This is doable but somewhat tricky since you need to fake DNS. You won't get any of the IPv6 benefits, of course.

        I doubt it will be a particularly popular deployment model. Putting complexity in the CPE's which are already behind schedule to save trouble for the client systems which have been ready for ages seems somewhat backwards.

      • by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:32AM (#39693789)

        IPv6 allows us to finally get rid of NAT by having the router request several public addresses which are handed out to the individual computers.

        The "not needed" mentality doesn't solve anything, especially because they could have just added an option to disable IPv6 instead of removing it.

      • by udippel (562132) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:39AM (#39693827)

        Inside the facility, who cares?

        Patronizing, are you? What makes you think you may prescribe the type of internal addressing (size of RAM, internationalisation, etc.) to anyone and everyone?
        I for one do care. Be it to work with IPv6 islands in an IPv4 shop, or student and research work. Maybe someone wants the same IP address wherever she goes?

        It can be understood from your post that you say "as long as the Apple box allows a connection; by whichever means and difficulties including eventual downgrades and encumbrances, I will defend its weaknesses to the very end".
        Though you could have said so.

      • Remember: the shortage of IPv4 addresses is on the PUBLIC INTERNET. (An extremely important distinction.) A small business with maybe 10-20 devices on an internal network doesn't care about IPv6. At all. Now, those of you with hundreds of clients on a large network, might indeed want it. But for most of us, all we'll need is an IPv6-capable router/modem at the Internet gateway. Inside the facility, who cares?

        That's all well and good, but the technology to translate an IPv4 private network to an IPv6 public network -- and the need to do that is coming quickly -- *sucks*. It is not nearly as trivial a problem as one might initially expect, and every solution I've seen other than dual stack is an ugly hack that makes IPv4 NAT look like the very model of elegance. Removing IPv6 as even an option at this point is just stupid. Make the default "off?" Sure. But remove it entirely? Stupid in the extreme

      • by Tore S B (711705) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:35PM (#39694211) Homepage

        I guess I'll try one more time. Whether in this *specific* case it's a good or bad thing, remember that most of us are running small IPv4 networks. IPv6 adds needless complexity and simply isn't needed.

        No, NAT adds needless complexity and simply isn't needed if we could all just start using IPv6! Incomplete appliance support is an extreme hinderance to that.

        Remember: the shortage of IPv4 addresses is on the PUBLIC INTERNET. (An extremely important distinction.) A small business with maybe 10-20 devices on an internal network doesn't care about IPv6. At all. Now, those of you with hundreds of clients on a large network, might indeed want it. But for most of us, all we'll need is an IPv6-capable router/modem at the Internet gateway. Inside the facility, who cares?

        I happen to work in broadcasting, so I know your anecdote is a bit of an edge case. Few people in broadcasting even use DNS or DHCP, much of the time, IP networks are simply replacements for whatever proprietary bit of telco comms preceded it.

        But of course no end user asks for IPv6. The mere idea that an end user should need to care about what happens on the transport layer for improvements in transport layer tech to be a Good Idea is flabbergasting. These things are supposed to be transparent. Technicians should realize they have a social responsibility to implement it, because the net gain is dependent on almost everyone getting it into place, so it can reach a critical mass so that we don't have to deal with the gigantic, internet-breaking kludge that is NAT.

        The main point is: There should be no distinction in addressing, there should be no NAT. One address should be able to reach another address no matter what network each host is on. That's kind-of why it's called an inter-net.

        • by smpoole7 (1467717)

          By the way, the "uh ... OK" in my reply is mine. For some reason the editor decided to join it to your quote. Sorry about that.

          But while I'm on a roll, let's see: hmm, umm ... My Dial Global satellite receiver uses both DNS and DHCP. It's IPv4-only, too. My Westwood One "Max" receiver, my XDS-Pro receiver and my Comstream (used for corporate feeds) is IPv4-only. The first two use DNS and obtain their address by DHCP by default. The Comstream was designed before gravity and dirt, so it's merely IPv4-only.

          At

    • by Lord_Jeremy (1612839) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @01:46PM (#39694677)
      The Airport Utility 6.0 actually has a whole lot less administration features than the 5.6 utility. In fact Apple has a download on their site for 5.6 if you want to use some of those features that are missing. As far as I can tell 6.0 is pretty much a Beta version. It's got an entirely different interface philosophy than 5.6 and most other router administration panels. I suspect that a lot of the missing functionality will be added soon, including ipv6.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jythie (914043)
        Hush, you are getting in the way of the Apple hate! If people realized that the 6.0 utility was a rewrite with many features still in development, only containing the most commonly used ones, and released at the same time as the 5.6 utility so that people who do use those configuration features still can... well, that would get in the way of the "Apple sheeple are destroying the our internet!' narrative.
  • IPv7 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:14AM (#39693253)
    Apple is secretly working on IPv7, where there's just a single light-weight packet type, and is exclusively available on the AT&T backbone (at a premium rate).
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Do those packets have rounded corners?

    • Re:IPv7 (Score:5, Funny)

      by Idbar (1034346) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:28AM (#39693337)
      No, they are just pissed that the initial letter is capital. They are probably coming up with iPv6 for Mac.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by game kid (805301)

        Close, It'll be called iPv5, actually. It'll work only with HTML5, and its packets will only support one standard transfer protocol. Google, Mozilla, and Apple disagree on whether it should be HTTP, FTP, or FTTP respectively, even though FTTP [wikipedia.org] is not even a transfer protocol.

        Also it'll make canvas and video faster somehow, possibly through the patent-pending technology called "magic".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:21AM (#39693297)

    I'm sure slashdot readers are entirely unaware of what goes on when a program is rewritten. And naturally assume that when it happens, 100% of all features and abilities are reproduced without any complications in a couple months. Just look at photoshop - its been such a breeze to rewrite for adobe.

    I'm sure no company would ever think about building a rewrite with enough features and polish to ship, then add in feature parity as updates later.

  • Non-sense! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:22AM (#39693301)

    Actually, the expertsare divided on whether IPv4 addresses will be exhaused. There may be many more addresses hidden out there. Before this is properly investigated it is too early to take action on IPv4 exhaustion. The idea that addresses are running out is only scare-mongering spread by the left-wing media. We should focus more on the controversy and less on IPv6 support.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by sunderland56 (621843)

      Actually, the expertsare divided on whether IPv4 addresses will be exhaused.

      IPV4 addresses have already been exhausted for a year now. [wikipedia.org]

      Any so-called 'experts' claiming otherwise may not be reliable sources.

    • Teach the controversy!
    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:37AM (#39693409)

      you are right. we should 'teach to the controversy'.

      IPv4 addresses are less than 6000 years old. they are our god-given right and no heathen lefty is gonna convince me otherwise.

      USA USA USA!

      • Not to mention the fact that adding IPv6 addresses hugely dilutes the value of IP addresses - you can't just print more IP addresses without causing hyperinflation! The internet IP economy will COLLAPSE!

        That's why I've been switching to doing all my communications with packets made of solid gold. It's a little slower, but no dang socialist government is going to collapse MY packets' value! I'll be the one laughing when you guys have to use like a billion IP addresses just to send one "tweet"!

    • This is perhaps the most gloriously subtle troll I've ever seen.
    • by Chemisor (97276)

      Correction: free IPv4 addresses are being exhausted. Once there are no more free addresses, people will start selling them and anybody who really needs them will be able to buy as many as he can afford. Most normal people won't though, being quite happy with NATed connectivity.

  • Steve Jobs gone, so we can do whatever we want with Apple!! :P
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:34AM (#39693393)

    Every big firm wants, above all, to get rid of the quaint notion that the Internet is a network of intelligent peers. Much better to have dumb terminals all locked in to your service.

    Sticking with IPv4 and the resultant multi-NAT hell is a good technical step in this direction.

    It's like Google pretending to champion IPv6 then setting absurd conditions for their IPv6 services. So ISPs which offer native IPv6 by default, such as England's Andrews&Arnold, have to jump through artificial hoops before they're "supported". And it's no coincidence that half of abusive SixXS is half-run by a Google employee.

    Oddly enough - and this'll get me the mod to oblivion - only MS has historically shown neutral support for IPv6, neither trying to control it nor eschewing it. That's because, I expect, Microsoft was traditionally about the powerful desktop and local server (running NT, of course). Now it's jumped on the cloud bandwagon, who knows?

    • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3NO@SPAMjustconnected.net> on Sunday April 15, 2012 @01:25PM (#39694547)

      Every big firm wants, above all, to get rid of the quaint notion that the Internet is a network of intelligent peers. Much better to have dumb terminals all locked in to your service.

      While this does seem to be the general trend, companies like Comcast are surprisingly actually pretty good about v6.

      It's like Google pretending to champion IPv6 then setting absurd conditions for their IPv6 services. So ISPs which offer native IPv6 by default, such as England's Andrews&Arnold, have to jump through artificial hoops before they're "supported".

      Bullshit. From their website [google.com]:

      To qualify for Google over IPv6, your network must meet a number of requirements. These include:
              Low latency, redundant paths to Google using direct peering or reliable transit
              Production-quality IPv6 support and reliability
              Separate DNS servers for your IPv6 users (not shared with IPv4-only users)
              Users who have opted in to IPv6 services and know how to opt out if they experience problems with Google services

      Google damn sure doesn't want provider's shitty v6 implementation to cause people problems with their service. Seems like a pretty reasonable desire to me, and pretty reasonable conditions to meet to prove you don't have a shitty implementation.

      And it's no coincidence that half of abusive SixXS is half-run by a Google employee.

      Um what? Care to provide any support for "abusive SixXS"? I did a quick search and couldn't find anything suggesting it, aside from people who were pissed that they got cut off for abuse. They actually seem to be more responsive than HE about abuse complaints, so I don't get it. Plus, I've never had any trouble with SixXS - at least not in the 3 years or so that I've had a tunnel with them.

      Oddly enough - and this'll get me the mod to oblivion - only MS has historically shown neutral support for IPv6, neither trying to control it nor eschewing it. That's because, I expect, Microsoft was traditionally about the powerful desktop and local server (running NT, of course). Now it's jumped on the cloud bandwagon, who knows?

      While MSFT has admittedly been pretty decent about v6 support (at least Vista+, their v6 implementation for XP worked, but was lukewarm), Apple had some of the earliest consumer routers that really supported v6 properly. Their phones, tablets, OS, all do as well. As noted before, this utility is a rewrite, and lacking several features that will (presumably) be added back in. The hardware still supports it; if you need v6, just keep the older utility for now.

      I don't know why you were modded up.

  • by Moridineas (213502) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:38AM (#39693417) Journal

    I'm sure the functionality will be added back in.

    Airport Utility 6.0 follows the recent trend of Apple making all of their software neutered versions of iOS versions (Lion to a certain extent, iCal, Address Book, etc)--so the comments here http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/30/apple-releases-redesigned-ios-like-airport-utility-6-0-and-an-airport-base-station-bug-fix/ [macrumors.com]. So, they went from a useful program with a standard interface (old version) to one with a pretty UI that lacks major features.

    The trend has been for Apple to add MOST features back in at some point, so hopefully it continues. I can't imagine Airport Utility will stay this way forever.

    I just keep an old binary around...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed, they still offer the download for previous version (5.6) which happily coexists with version 6.0. I can only imagine they wanted to get the new version out fast, and extend it with non-essential features over time.

      PS: The download link for those interested: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482

    • by bogie (31020)

      Snow Leopard will go down in history as the last great Apple OS. Everything after it is complete crap from a design standpoint. They are absolutely ruining what imho was the best designed OS from a GUI standpoint. What they are doing is just as bad as Microsoft's shitty metro UI for Windows 8. I guess I'm running Snow Leopard until my computer dies. Then I don't know what I'll do. I suppose Windows 7 on a "ultrabook". At least that will be supported for many years to come.

      DOS was an OS nobody could love fro

      • I completely agree.

        I upgraded my Mac Pro at work to Lion and can't say there's a single changed feature that I prefer over Snow Leopard. Not one thing. Mission Control is a regression, the removal of Save As / Duplicate is just confusing and annoying, Launchpad utterly useless, buggy (time machine backups, notably), annoying flat, monochrome, greyscale interface change throughout the system (finder sidebars, itunes, etc). Address Book is awful. iCal is awful. It's possible there's SOME new feature I prefer,

  • This is non-sense (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:56AM (#39693531)

    They did not remove IPV6 at all. They new confit utility (v.6) doesn't let you configure it, but they say so right in the docs that it is one of th feature the new version does not yet support. They also give you a download link the previous 5.6 version if you want to configure those rarely used features. IPV6 is even enabled by default.

  • I hate ipv6 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Real (179104) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:56AM (#39693535)

    There I said it. The lack of adoption and the lack of knowledge have made it a tremendous burden with absolutely zero benefit to our organization. I'm fine with running ipv4 into the ground. I just don't care anymore. I hate ipv6.

    • by rssrss (686344)

      That's funny. I talked to ipv6, and she said she still likes you.

      • nah, ipv6 has been dating DECnet phase V for the last few decades.

        they have their differences, but their neighborhoods are similarly gated and their kids all share the same bus to school.

  • In other news.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstrickler (920733) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:11AM (#39693645)

    MS seen as backpedaling on it's support for 64-bit computing over Windows 8 only supporting 32-bit CPUs in tablets.

    Come on people, this isn't backpedaling, it's a completely new version of a utility that in it's initial release supports what's in use in 99% of installations. Those who are actually using IPv6 can use the older version until this one adds support (probably in the next release).

    • by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:53AM (#39693933)

      Windows 8 isn't limited to 32-bit processors in tablets. The processors themselves lack 64-bit instructions, but the support is there. Nothing is preventing anyone from sticking an x64 processor in a tablet, like they've done quite a few times (Asus EP121, Samsung Series 7 Tablet).

      Apple on the other hand, is not allowing users to configure IPv6 - even if it is present and enabled, what good does it do if it can't be configured? Less features is not something you should want or tolerate. That's what pre-release builds are for.

  • by Alrescha (50745) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:23PM (#39694153)

    Apple didn't back off on anything. The version of Airport Utility discussed is the pretty, dumbed-down version of the application intended for folks who just barely understand what a router is about. It matches the similar version deployed on iOS.

    The "previous version" isn't. The feature-complete 5.6 was released at the same time as the simple version, and has the same support for IPv6 as it ever did.

    A.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:38PM (#39694243)

    5.6 is not the previous version! 6.0 and 5.6 were released simultaneously! The problem lies with their product naming, not versioning. That is, 6.0 really should have been called Airport Utility Lite or something like that. 5.6 could have been Airport Utility Pro or something like that. 5.6 is very much the latest version. Want all the features? Use 5.6. Want a simplified interface? Use 6.0.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @01:00PM (#39694391) Homepage

    Apple is not in the "serious business" business. They aren't. They make "consumer gear" now. I love the Mac Pro. I love the Mac Mini. I think they are great machines. The problem? They aren't focusing on those any more. They care about iThings for people to throw away in favor of the next one.

    And when some great F/OSS stuff makes implementing IPv6 easier, they will absorb it and pretend they invented it like they always have.

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.

Working...