Many years ago I wrote about the items that a person could buy for Christmas that include IPv6. The results were fairly sparse three years ago. Unfortunately, not much has changed. It is not easy to find IPv6-related gifts to give to your loved-ones this holiday season. Even if you have been extremely good this year, you may get a lump of coal in your IPv6 stocking.
When I go to Amazon and search "All Departments" for the keyword IPv6 the most frequent thing that appears is IT books on the topic of IPv6. In fact, the first two pages of search results are completely filled with books. On the 3rd page we see a "Motorola SB6121 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem". The search results also turn up a few nerdy t-shirts that say "There's no place like ::1". If we change our search to the "Electronics" department then we start to see products like the Linksys E4200 router. The search results reveal other residential routers that support 6to4 or native IPv6 connectivity and Ethernet switches that can pass IPv6 packets in Ethernet frames. There are several print servers and IPv6-capable Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras.
If we search online stores like Fry's or Micro Center we find similarly disappointing results. Fry's doesn't return any results for IPv6 and Micro Center only returns 3 IPv6 books. If we search Best Buy's website for the IPv6 keyword it doesn't fine any matches in all categories. The best search results for IPv6 came from Newegg's site which returned IPv6-capable print servers, DOCSIS cable modems, network cameras, consumer-grade routers, Ethernet switches, server NICs, network storage devices, and the Apple Airport Express.
After IPv6 has been a standard for so many years it is discouraging to find out that it has not yet made its way into more consumer electronics. Even if there are products that use IPv6, they don't list it in their product specifications or features so that it would appear in a keyword search. As more electronic devices gain Internet connectivity there will be more devices that need IP addresses. Surely there won't be enough IPv4 addresses for all these devices to they will need to start to support IPv6 at some point. Even if these products are targeted for consumers who may have a NAT device at their home, these devices may not work so well if the ISP deploys a Large Scale NAT (LSN) device. Manufacturers of network-connected consumer electronics should start to educate themselves on IPv6 and start to integrate it into their products.
Like Jon Brodkin said during World IPv6 Day: "Got up early to see what was under the IPV6 tree... sooooo disappointing".
Maybe there will be joy for the Christmas Goat in the town of Gavle this year.
Happy Holidays to All!