Using Netgear R7800 with Hurricane Electric 6in4 Tunnel

In a previous post, I noted that despite their claims on their website, Wave G broadband does not support IPv6 in the SF Bay Area. Thus, my fallback method was to use a tunnel broker to access IPv6 servers. Namely, I opted to use Hurricane Electric’s tunnelbroker.net IPv6 tunnel.

It turns out that my Netgear Nighthawk X4S R7800 router (which itself was a replacement of a previous Netgear R7800 — long story with Asurion warranty insurance for another day) does not support 6in4 tunneling, which is the technology used in tunnelbroker. Note this is different from the 6to4 tunnel that is supported in the native Netgear R7800 firmware — a technology which seems to deprecated, if the repeatedly Google captchas and warnings were any indication.

The Netgear R7800 does not support 6in4 tunneling like the Apple AirPort Extreme, but it appears that its 6rd (IPv6 Rapid Deployment) mode can be used instead with tunnelbroker.net. Since I’m not a network engineer, I’m not 100% clear on why this works, or if there are any limitations to abusing the protocol this way, but it does appear to allow access to IPv6-only servers.

In the Netgear configs, set:

  • Internet connection type — 6rd
  • 6rd Prefix — the Routed /48: value from tunnelbroker
  • 6rd Prefix Length — 48
  • 6rd IPv4 Border Relay AddressServer IPv4 Address from tunnelbroker
  • 6rd IPv4 Address Mask Length — 32

With this “6rd” configuration active on the Netgear R7800, the tunnel appears to work, and I can once again access resources on IPv6 only servers. Not sure if this is fragile or not, but I really only needed a temporary solution. Unfortunately, this also means I cannot access Netflix anymore due to Netflix’s blocking of Hurricane Electric tunnels (as a “VPN”), but that’s another story for another time.