Today is the day when IPv6 is permanently enabled by home-networking equipment manufacturers and Web companies around the world. So what do you do to get ready?
First of all, there's really nothing you have to do right away. The transition to IPv6 will be a slow process, and in the meantime IPv4 devices will still work. In fact, there are IPv4-to-IPv6 transition protocols, known as "dual-stack" protocols, that make it possible to wrap IPv6 addresses within IPv4 packets to help legacy devices work during the transition. In the long term, it's better to make sure your network devices support IPv6 natively. Some of them can be upgraded to support IPv6 via firmware, but others you might have to replace with new devices.
Speaking of new devices, the most important networking device for your home or small office network is the router. The broadband modem is important, too, but most likely it's the responsibility of the service provider to upgrade that.
Following is the list of top 5 wireless routers that are IPv6-ready. These are not the only routers on the market that support IPv6; many others do and even more will also support it via a firmware update. These routers are those which, in addition to IPv6, also offer other great features and performance. They are listed in descending order, with the most affordable and easiest to use at the top.
The D-Link Amplifi Whole Home Router 1000 DIR-645 is a budget single-band router that offers long range and very good performance. It's one of the first routers from D-Link to support IPv6 right out of the box, since D-Link was one of the networking vendors participating in the IPv6 Readiness Initiative that started with the first World IPv6 Day, which took place about a year ago.
In addition to support for IPv6, the DIR-645 offers Gigabit Ethernet, SharePort Plus, and OpenDNS-based parental control. It's also compact and relatively affordable, costing just around $80. Read the full review of the D-Link Amplifi Whole Home Router 1000 DIR-645.
D-Link Amplifi HD Media Router 2000 DIR-827
The D-Link DIR-827 is superior to the DIR-645 because it offers 300Mbps true dual-band, USB 3.0, and also comes with a customized QoS-based feature called HD Fuel that automatically prioritizes Internet bandwidth for gaming, VoIP apps, and HD streaming. It's the second router from D-Link that supports IPv6 right out of the box. Read the full review of the D-Link DIR-827.
This is another true dual-band router that offers the traditional 300Mbps speed on both bands. It's the only router on this list that didn't support IPv6 when it first came out but later added this feature via a firmware update.
This sleek and supercompact router actually offers very fast real-world throughput speeds, even faster than some routers that support the 450Mbps standard, in my testing. On top of that, it's a fun router to use if you like tweaking. The router offers built-in support for network storage when coupled with an external hard drive. Read the full review of the Asus RT-N56U.
Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight Double 450Mbps N Router
The Asus RT-N66U is a great upgrade to the already excellent RT-N56U. This router supports the 450Mbps speed on both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands, with top performance on the 5GHz band. Its two USB ports can be used with more than just external hard drives and printers. The router offers IPv6 right out of the box via a Web interface that's easy and fun to use.
The RT-N66U is the only router on this list that supports up to six guest networks (three on each band) and it even has a built-in VPN server. For this reason, it's an excellent choice for not just homes but also small businesses that want to be ready for IPv6. Read the full review of the Asus RT-N66U.
Buffalo AirStation AC1300 / N900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router WZR-D1800H
The WZR-D1800H is a totally new breed of wireless router. It's the first one on the market that supports the latest 802.11ac (aka 5G Wi-Fi) standard, offering a top wireless speed of 1.3Gbps. It also supports Wi-Fi clients that use any previous Wi-Fi standard, be it 802.11n/g/a or /b. Since it's on the cutting edge, support for IPv6 is a given.
The 5G Wi-Fi support aside, this router also offers true dual-band Wireless-N, with each band being able to provide up to 450Mbps of bandwidth. That said, if you don't have any 802.11ac clients at home, which is likely the case since there was only one on the market at the time of this review, you can still enjoy its performance, just as you would with a Wireless-N router. It's an exciting router for those who want not only IPv6 but also the latest and greatest. Read the full review of the Buffalo AirStation WZR-D1800H.
Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these routers head-to-head.