adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Unexpected benefits of IPv6 tunnelling

Posted by Oliver on the 26th of December, 2013 in category Tech
Tagged with: deutsche telekomhurricane electricipv6tunnelbroker

Recently I wrote about getting my IPv6 tunnel setup working properly again after a while of it not working very well (or not at all). Since my ISP doesn't yet (to my knowledge) provide native IPv6 connectivity to regular consumers, I tunnel IPv6 via Hurricane Electric, which on the whole works pretty well.

Another fantastic thing that my ISP does is throttle YouTube (and presumably other) traffic, which can make it unusable at the best of times, even at the lowest resolutions. I'm being sarcastic, obviously - it's REALLY irritating. YouTube, GMail and presumably many other Google services as well as other mainstream sites such as Facebook have supported IPv6 for some time by default and the range of sites supporting it is fortunately increasing (although not nearly fast enough). After getting my IPv6 running properly again, I noticed that YouTube videos were actually starting quite fast and playing back without interruption.

Presumably Deutsche Telekom is doing some fairly basic packet inspection or identification of YouTube flows based on Autonomous System numbers or known IP subnets, as the tunnelled traffic via IPv6 is not throttled it would seem. Despite being re-routed via Frankfurt and suffering a small additional latency penalty, I still get vastly superior YouTube performance over the IPv6 tunnel as opposed to regular IPv4 transit. Especially given that the much smaller IPv6 routing table is often not nearly as optimised as the vast number of IPv4 routes, this is pretty impressive.

So in actual fact I'm currently better off with my tunnelled IPv6 connectivity than having native IPv6 connectivity through Deutsche Telekom. Odd, but currently very satifying.

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