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I am Home User

What is the IPv6 situation now in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong already has the internet infrastructure in place to support IPv6 deployment [1]. Major Internet Services Providers in Hong Kong are also aware of the IPv4 address exhaustion issue and have enabled their network backbone to support IPv6.
 

So what do I need to deploy IPv6?

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There are 3 checkpoints to ensure that your devices, network and other equipment are IPv6-compliant.

  • Personal devices: Check if the version of operating system you are using is up-to-date with IPv6 standards - your software manual should have that information. In general, most current operating systems, including Linux, Windows Vista or above, and Apple Mac OS X or above, are IPv6-enabled by default [2].
  • Network devices: The devices you use to connect to the Internet, such as routers and wireless modems, as well as the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), the device provided by your ISP, such as ADSL modem, VDSL modem and cable modem, have to be IPv6-ready as well.
  • ISP:Your connection will be IPv6-enabled if your ISP is offering an IPv6 service, but if you're not sure, check directly with your ISP.
 

What is Customer Premises Equipment?

Customer-premises equipment or customer-provided equipment (CPE) is equipment at your premises that connects you with your service provider's network or telecommunication channels. They generally refer to devices such as telephones, routers, switches, residential gateways (RG), set-top boxes, fixed mobile products, home networking adaptors etc.

Not all CPE are IPv6-enabled. Therefore, if you're switching to an IPv6 network, your network router has to be able to support IPv6.

The IPv6 Forum is running the IPv6 Ready Logo program to certify products that comply with IPv6 standards. It is highly recommended to buy IPv6-enabled products that bear the "IPv6 Ready" logo.



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The IPv6 Forum also maintains a list of IPv6-ready equipment, so check your current and shopping list for the latest updates.

 

How do I select a suitable Internet Service Provider (ISP)?

There are now over 180 licensed ISPs in Hong Kong delivering broadband Internet services. As of March 2012, only IPv4 Internet service is being offered to residential home users.

Selecting an IPv6 service provider is not much different from choosing a broadband service provider. Apart from taking reference from the performance pledges which major ISPs like Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (HKBN), Hutchison Global Communications Limited (HGC), New World Telecommunications Limited (NWT), PCCW IMS Limited ("PCCW-IMS") and Hong Kong Cable Television Limited (HKCTV) have published on their respective websites as a guide on their quality of service, some special considerations to take note of are:

  • Is your ISP IPv6-ready?
  • What is the coverage of your ISP? Does the network cover your living area?
  • How many IP addresses they would provide for your contract?
If you would like to know more, please refer to the broadband tips from OFCA for more information.

 

IPv6 Security

It is important to note that deploying IPv6 will not solve all cyber security issues [3] or prevent certain common threats such as:

  • Viruses and malicious code
  • Brute-force attacks and password guessing
  • Rogue (unauthorised) devices being introduced into the network
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
  • Spamming, phishing and so on
Therefore, it is crucial for home users to stay secure by applying the latest patches and anti virus software and keeping their firewall switched on when using IPv6 to connect to the Internet. You can also ask your ISP what security measures they have in place to help you here.


Footnote:
 1.OGCIO - http://www.ogcio.gov.hk/en/business/tech_promotion/ipv6/ipv6_development_in_hk.htm
 2.IPv6INT.net - http://ipv6int.net/systems/
 3.InfoSec HK - http://www.infosec.gov.hk/english/technical/files/ipv6s.pdf

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