I just posted this on FB in an IPv6 group. I thought you might be interested.
Five years ago, I spun up a Digital Ocean server and configured it to block all IPv4 on ports 80 and 443. Back then I wrote right here in this group, “I am STUNNED at how bad the V6 situation is. Huge sites like Bing and Amazon and eBay aren’t responding on V6 at all. Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Google are all playing nicely, though. Still, if I do a Google search for anything, almost none of the results work on V6.”.
Tonight, I did it again. I spun up another Digital Ocean server. This time I was able to connect from home over IPv6 so I just deleted the IPv4 interfaces entirely. See my ifconfig below. There’s no IPv4 at all on this box. I installed xrdp, Ubuntu Desktop and Chrome and spent a few hours surfing the IPv6 internet.
First, I’ll note that Firefox wouldn’t even install. It informed me that it couldn’t connect to something called the Snap store and was bailing. My guess is the Snap store is IPv4 only but I didn’t care enough to check. Chrome installed without complaint and all my Ubuntu updates were also uneventful.
Overall, the situation is still disappointing but it has improved and there were some particularly bright spots. Bing and Amazon now work fine on IPv6. They didn’t work at all five years ago. Facebook, Instagram, and most Google products still work fine, although Youtube was as slow as molasses. Google Sites (their web hosting service) works fine, as do Gmail and Google Workspaces. The Dropbox website works, but I didn’t check if the Dropbox app works on V6-only.
Microsoft is dead on IPv6 to my utter amazement. Twitter is dead. TikTok is dead. Ebay is still dead. DuckDuckGo is dead to my considerable irritation. AWS management interfaces are all dead and I make my living on code deployed mostly on AWS servers. Even my coding environment (AWS Cloud9) is dead on IPv6. Digital Ocean works. OVH is dead. Baidu is dead. Chat GPT is dead. Flickr (where I keep my photos) is dead. The Mayo Clinic is dead. AirBnB is dead. The New York Times is dead. CNN works. Fox News doesn’t. The CBC is dead which matters only to those of us in Canada. And so on.
Google searches and the entire surfing experience are both hopeless. Even Google’s own ads don’t work because they all go through Google Ad Services which itself doesn’t work on IPv6, so the top few links on every Google search (the ads) all fail, even if the sites they link to work on IPv6. Overall, the entire web surfing experience is torture. It’s an endless exercise in seeing an interesting link, clicking it, and finding that the target site doesn’t support IPv6.
Very importantly, both Google Remote Desktop and Microsoft Remote desktop seem to work fine on IPv6 with no issues encountered using either. Particularly nicely, Google Remote Desktop (formerly Chrome Remote Desktop) allowed me to connect to IPv4-only computers which was a bonus. This is, of course, because of its central-server architecture which relays information vs. Microsoft’s point-to-point architecture. Google’s architecture also lets it bypass firewalls as all connections are outgoing over 443, but that’s a bit off topic.
Anyway, I thought I’d share my findings. While there were some bright spots and some significant improvements from five years ago, there is still no way I could live my life on IPv6 alone, at least not as comfortably as I currently live it. This won’t stop me from making all of my code and deployments IPv6 compatible. I’m just acutely aware that there’s still a long, long way to go, and progress has been much slower than I expected.