Linksys WRT610N IPv6 support fiasco

A few months ago I bought a Linksys WRT610N router to use at home, I installed it, it worked flawlessly on my home network and get this IPv6 started working out the box with 6to4! I was happy as I could ever be :P

Now, a common saying is, if it works do not fix it, which is good and all except when “fixing” it actually means closing security holes and such. Also that being adventurous on you home network is not exactly a big professional risk (except angry spouses and such). So when I saw that there was a shiny new firmware upgrade available for the perfectly working WRT610N, I just had to upgrade, especially when the change log included a wealth of potentially important fixes such as:

– Resolved wireless connection drop issue.
– Resolved Wi-Fi Protected Setup interoperability issue.
– Resolved same internal ports not allowed issue in port forwarding feature.
– Resolved USB storage handling issue during large file transfers.
– Resolved IPv6 and other security issues.
– Resolved FTP server anonymous login issue.
– Resolved other minor issues.
– Improved timing of push button initiation.
– Improved recognition of USB external hard drives.
– Enhanced wireless range.
– Updated the FTP server.
– Updated the UPnP media server.
– Added support of Internet type detection to Linksys setup wizard.
– Added Home Network Defender support.

I thought it a little bit funny that IPv6 and “other security issues” were coupled on the same bullet point, but did not read into that my setup would be crippled (who would have guessed). Installed the firmware v1.00.02 B10 onto the router, and started to check if everything still worked. It seemed so at first, IPv4 worked as it always had, IPv6 could connect out, but incoming connections were rejected. Testing from a machine in a different location revealed that the packets were rejected with “Destination unreachable: Administratively prohibited”. My first thought was “Nice! IPv6 firewalling as default, good for them! Now how do I turn it off?”. Going through the routers web-interface I found nothing, leaving me unable to connecting to my home network.

To make matters worse I have several IPv6 routers at home which for some reason have lower priority than than the WRT610N as default, which was fine until the firmware upgrade.. For me that meant other IPv6 routes stopped working. Ugh.

Browsing the Linksys/Cisco homepage for clues made me end up in some sort of an expert system that asked me a lot of questions, which led me nowhere near any answers about uncrippling IPv6 on their product. In the end, it caved in and gave me live support through a webchat, neat! Unfortunatly, my frustrations did not end there..

I explain the problem, and get the response that “I am afraid linksys router only work with IPv4.”, you know nothing rude or anything, except that their product is actually broadcasting support for IPv6, and it worked before, they changed how it worked and is now telling me that there exist no such support at all. Of course I press on, maybe she just did not understand my problem, maybe my English was bad, maybe she just did not know the product.

I kindly point at the change log and the mentioning of IPv6 there, I mean, if there is a change with IPv6 in the product, that hopefully means that there must be some kind of magic IPv6 support in it, right? WRONG! “I am afraid it does not work with IPv6.”. Ask her to ask someone else again, you know, just maybe someone in their tech support would understand what the problem is. To me it is important to be understood so that I can get a proper answer, an answer that just brushes you off is just going to annoy me. At this point even an acknowledgment that there is a problem or that they are aware of the issue would have left me more than satisfied. “I consulted my senior technician for this but i am afraid that it does not support IPv6.”. Finally, I give up, I try to ask if it is safe to downgrade the firmware, but did not get an answer for this.. oh well.

To be fair, in the product sheet for WRT610N it does not say that it supports IPv6 in any way, and I did take it as a bonus that it did in fact work out of the box, which is why I recommended it to all my friends. I looked at OpenWRT for support, although it does seem that it is still a long way to go (lack of wireless support).

I wish development road-maps would be more available for firmwares, I guess I have been a bit spoiled with open source projects ..

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